Are You a Good Teacher?

Bryan Fiese: No Teacher Left Behind – Keeping Up With and Captivating Generation Next In the Classroom

Are you a good teacher? I assume you are one, since right now you are looking for effective teaching strategies, you are willing to learn a teaching style in your classroom. Certainly you want to teach your students how to get along in life, how to use the knowledge you and your school provide them. You want to see your students as successful, happy, bright grown-ups who can recognize their own unique skills and talents and make the best of them; you make it your mission. You have plenty of students, all of them promising in their own way. You are the one who needs to find their strengths, to help them become creative. You are supposed to make them realize that education is important, it is a path to a good, satisfying, whole life. It all depends on the teaching style in your classroom.

Your profession is a wonderful and hard one. It requires plenty of empathy and patience. It requires effective teaching strategies and an ability to keep your students interested and motivated. Probably you see the downsides of teaching time and again, your students are yawning during classes, they do not care about your advice, they are uninterested in your subject, perhaps they do not understand how important it is to get a proper education, to prepare for their adult lives. How could you help these negative feelings? Can you implement a new teaching style in your classroom?  How could you learn new, effective teaching techniques?

Motivating and empowering your students can help more than ordering them around. A couple of decades ago, motivation via intimidation might have done the trick, however, it does not work any longer. We live in a free, fast-paced world these days, teaching methods and the demands of the world have changed, the expectations are high, and Generation Y and Z are different than students used to be ten years ago. These changing circumstances require different but equally effective teaching techniques.  Teachers should adapt to the change, without getting into laissez faire attitude. How could you keep up the interest of a bunch of active – sometimes too active –, curious, smart students? You cannot force them to want to study more or get interested in a subject, this is obvious. You need effective teaching techniques and a new teaching style in your classroom to make them understand that doing well at school is within their best interests.

Never give up. You can get professional advice from a well-respected writer and education expert, Bryan Fiese, in his amazing book, No Teacher Left Behind – Keeping up with and Captivating Generation Next in the Classroom. This is the second edition of the book, the first one was a hit with teachers and educators. In his book, Bryan Fiese offers effective teaching strategies, he introduces cognitive methods on classroom management, it describes a program that will help you recognize your students’ interests, skills, background knowledge, language skills, their preference in learning, from visual to audiovisual types. This could help you a whole lot when you teach them. From this comprehensive and interesting book, No Teacher Left Behind, you can learn how to be a democratic and respected teacher, to use a new teaching style in your classroom, to provide a safe and motivating environment for your students. You can learn effective teaching strategies on how to solve problems you might have with your students.

Bryan Fiese is the co-founder of Motivated Proformance Inc. He has been working with teachers, administrators and students for 15 years. He has been on television and radio, he has held lots of conferences, workshops, trainings, keynotes and in-services.

 

Natural Motivation Isn’t for Everyone

Motivated Teacher - No Teacher Left BehindNatural Motivation isn’t For Everyone.  For some students being enthusiastic about learning seems to come naturally, but a lot of people need or rather expect their instructors to stimulate, challenge, and inspire them. You can expect the level of motivation in your classroom to be set, for better or worse, by what happens in that classroom.

Unfortunately, there is no magic trick to motivate students. So many different factors can have an affect on a student’s motivation to both work and learn… interest in the subject matter, the general desire to achieve, self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as patience and persistence; just to name a few.  Now of course, not all people are motivated by the same values, needs, desires, or wants.  While some students may be more motivated by overcoming challenges, others will strive more for the approval of their peers.

Here are a few quick tips to encourage students to become self-motivated independent learners:

  • Give frequent, positive feedback that supports students’ beliefs that they can do well.
  • Ensure opportunities for students’ success by assigning tasks that are neither too easy nor too difficult.  Push the limits without making them feel overwhelmed.
  • Try to help students find personal meaning and value in the material.
  • Create an open and positive atmosphere.
  • Help students see and feel that they are valued members of a learning community.
  • Tell students what they need to do to succeed in your course. Don’t let your students struggle to figure out what is expected of them. Reassure students that they can do well in your course, and tell them exactly what they must do to succeed. Say something to the effect that “If you can handle the examples on these problem sheets, you can pass the exam. People who have trouble with these examples can ask me for extra help.” Or instead of saying, “You’re way behind,” tell the student, “Here is one way you could go about learning the material. How can I help you?”

No Teacher Left BehindResearch has also shown that good everyday teaching practices can do more to counter student apathy than special efforts to attack motivation directly. Most students will respond positively to a well-organized course taught by an instructor who is enthusiastic and has a genuine interest in students and what they learn.

 

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