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5 Steps to become the best teacher in life

Teaching is an amazing profession, it is tasky and involves continues personal development to remain relevant. Recall that over the years, several methods of teaching have evolved in the classroom, all of which were focused on achieving one target or the other. In this article, I shall be sharing with you most profitable ways and how to become the best teacher in life and career.

A. Methods of teaching:

1. Lecture Method

Among the oldest, we find the lecture method, which portrays the teacher as one who dispenses knowledge to the ignorant pupil. Teaching consists of ‘Telling’ the pupils certain facts and information which the latter absorbs silently, never talking until he is asked to do so.

The method places the teacher in a great authority and the learner in that of dependence. The lecture method is one of the commonest methods. It is particularly suitable for large classes. The method is indispensable to teachers especially when it comes to presenting information, which the learners need.

Lecturing consists of telling the students certain truths and information/revelations which the latter absorb SILENTLY, never talking until asked to do so. These truths and information/revelations have to be passed skillfully, logically and systematically in order to promote understanding and spark off the desired ‘revolution’ in the lives of the students.

It also has to be used along with other methods to provide a variety of approaches and learning experiences. Used alone and all the time, it can become monotonous and boring and may condemn the learner to perpetual inactivity.

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2. Socratic Method

A second method is the Socratic method of teaching which is based on dialogue between the teacher and the learners. In this dialogue, three stages are distinguished: the stage of ‘opinion’ during which the learner is unable to give valid reasons for his assumed knowledge; the second stage is the destructive or analytic stage in which the individual is led to doubt his knowledge and the third stage – the synthetic stage- where the learner’s experience is critically reconstructed and he can justify his beliefs by giving reasons for them.

The Socratic Method consists essentially of questions and answers. This makes it difficult to apply in the classroom situation where we have many pupils and where the stage of mental development of the pupils may not be advanced enough to support the rigours of the method.

However, the Socratic Method can be applied from time to time especially to correct pupils’ false beliefs, illogical reasoning and to eradicate taboos and superstitions. It can also be used at certain stages of the lesson to check on the level of understanding of the pupils.

3. Discovery Method

This very profitable way of teaching is a method is based on the assumption that it is better and more useful for learners to discover for themselves certain facts, truths, principles, and knowledge etc. Such knowledge discovered is said to be lasting than one that is poured into the pupils’ heads. In this method, materials are supplied to the pupils and the situations created whereby they can search for the required knowledge, truth, value etc.

This method is particularly useful in practical subjects like science, social studies and even mathematics. It can also be adopted for library research in other more theoretical subjects like history and literature. Being time consuming, it may not be used too frequently in the classroom. But where used skillfully, it can be very rewarding.

4. Project Method

The project method as the name implies is built around a pre-determined project which may be found in a given subject area or be interdisciplinary in nature. The project is usually undertaken to achieve a certain agreed purpose and learners work cooperatively among themselves to achieve this purpose. In undertaking projects, multiple leaning usually takes place.

Examples of projects are building a dining shed, presenting a play, organizing an excursion, undertaking a community service (e.g. cleaning) etc. These methods appear more democratic than many other methods and encourage pupils’ active participation en masse.

The teacher becomes a guide and facilitator and a lot of learning takes place. In the three domains: cognitive, effective and psychomotor. Above all, learning is easily transferred to pupils ‘real life situations outside the school and thus becomes very meaningful and motivating to them.

B. Preparation of Lesson Note

To become the best teacher in life, one of the most important skills in lecturing is preparing a lecture plan. It is frequently said that “Without plan, there can be no lecture.” It is important therefore to prepare a lesson note to cover the 1½ hours allocated for each lesson before you enter the lecture room.

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To enable you prepare a profitable lesson note the following could be carefully considered:

1. Fresh Notes

Lecturers are to develop fresh lesson notes using the Course Outline, recommended books and other relevant materials.

2. The Aim

This means the purpose, intention or focus of the subject. The aim of each subject is clearly indicated on the course outline. Failure is a product of broken focus

3. The Objective(S)

The objective should be written in terms of the students and not in terms of the subject matter. It should be expressed in terms of what you want the students to get out of the lesson and what they should be able to do at the end of the topic.

It may be that one lesson will have several objectives, each of which should be stated in your lesson note. General objective may extend over several lessons with subordinate or specific objective, for each lesson.

C. Ask yourself these questions:

1. What do I want the students to derive from their lesson (not “what am I going to teach them”)?

2. How will I know that they have derived it?

3. What do I want the students to do by the end of the lesson to convince me that they have caught it?

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D. Final Lesson Preparations

It is important for us to understand that lack of adequate preparations will result in perspiration; and the absence of preparation equals prepared to fail. This is a common law of life.

Therefore, once the lesson note has been carefully prepared, carry out the following steps:

• Meditate, ponder, and ruminate over the note to enhance proper understanding of the subject matter.
• Create applicable illustrations to drive home your points.
• Practice your delivery pattern over and over again.
• Pray over the lesson note to generate the required impact.

E. Lecture Timing

The lecture should be properly spread within the time allocated. Since no lecture is permitted to exceed the allocated time under any circumstances, it may be necessary to divide and affix time to the various topics to be taught in the classroom.

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