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My Strategies for Effective Teaching

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I’ve been teaching part-time for over a year now and I can tell you it’s no easy feat. I’ve seen my share of ups and downs, of not-so-bright students and bright students, of talkative students and really quite ones. I’ve also had my share of students with high grades and those students who are happy with passing grades. Fortunately, I survived and I still continued my work.

When I first started teaching, I read up on what kind of techniques I can use to make sure I become an effective teacher. I am not saying I became one (I'm still far from becoming an effective teacher) but I think by applying the following strategies, I'm slowly but surely getting there.

Establish Rules...and Stick to Them

What??? Rules...this is a free country, man! Yeah right. Sit down, young man! LOL. Seriously though, establishing rules early on (as in the first day of class) sets the tone for the rest of the school year or semester. Keep them simple, use simple languages and explain them clearly, so that the students will know what to expect from you. Believe me, they will really appreciate you laying your cards on the table from the start of their classes.

The other side of the coin is that when rules are established, the teacher should stick to them. Do not deviate or the students will know that you are not really that serious in following your own rules.

Eye Contact

There are times when I hate looking at my students because I see some of them nodding off (see, I know I'm not yet an effective teacher). But I try to maintain eye contact whenever I explain things to them. It makes it easier for me to see their reactions and their thoughts. Besides, if they know that you can see them, the students will really strive to fight off their sleepiness and concentrate on what you are saying.

Lighten Up

Believe me, my subjects can sometimes get boring. They're full of concepts, theories, terms, etc., etc. that sometimes even I get bored when I discuss them. To fight the boredom, I sometimes lighten up the mood by giving short jokes or telling them stories or getting the students to give their personal experiences on the subject. Also, since my subject has to do with business, I give them news and tidbits about the goings on in the business world, both local and international. It gets my students interested enough to hear more about the topic.

Slowly But Surely

This has more to do with the phasing of my discussion. I make sure that I don't load my students to the point that their brains cannot take in anything more. Even if I end up not discussing a lot of things within the alloted time, this is okay with me as long as I know that they managed to learn more than if I bombarded them with a lot of information. Also, try to vary the method of teaching. The first 30 minutes, discuss. The next 30 minutes, copy from the next day's notes, etc., etc. This will break off the monotony and will also give me time to catch my breath and rest my (poor) feet.

Students as Teachers

This one I tried during the last six months and I can say it made my students learn more. Have the students become the teacher in one session by assigning them one topic that they can discuss during this session. Give them the materials but let them decide how they want to impart the materials to their classmates. Better yet, give them the freedom to do whatever they want during the session (i.e., surprise quiz from the last lecture) so that they can practice being flexible. A lot of my students have welcomed this because they get to see my notes firsthand and, at the same time, they get to practice public speaking.

Give Feedback Firmly and Immediately

Whenever I give examinations and tests, I make sure that I immediately check and return my students' papers so that they'll know if they did good or not. I also provide interim grades like within a week or two right after the major exam. If there's a presentation, I make sure that the presentors know what I like or dislike about their presentation (sometimes I can be harsh I think this is necessary so that they'll always remember what I said). This way they're not in the dark if they did something right or wrong during their presentation.

That's it for me. These are generally the techniques I used to become a more effective teacher. There are a lot more techniques or strategies out there and I'm sure any teacher can find one or more strategies that fit his / her teaching style and the educational needs of the students. One thing I have learned this past year is that this job is not really easy. It takes a very patient and wise person to want to continue working in this profession. I just hope I can stick it out until the day somebody tells me - "you're now an effective teacher!".

(Note: This is my tenth hub, yey! Hope I can write more hubs in the future.)


sundari on June 14, 2012:

i want to search about the i am the model strategy

anonymous on March 12, 2012:

That would surely help teachers like us to fulfill the mission that we hvave!!!!

NJ's Ponderings from Hickville, NY on December 07, 2010:

Great Hub! From the sounds of your hub, I know you are or will be a great teacher. You definitely have the makings of one!!

emievil (author) from Philippines on May 31, 2010:

Hey Ms. Lita. I just bet you are an effective teacher. Call it gut feel :). I can't exactly say I was effective (I have been off teaching for one semester now and will probably continue to be so). But I can see some of my students striving to learn their subject (which is really a minor one), so I'd like to think I am effective. :) Thanks for the comment.

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Lita C. Malicdem from Philippines on May 31, 2010:

If you have 40 students in your classroom, you must take a hard stance because you are viewed with 40 faces, each child wanting you to be like him. That's near impossible! But that's the secret of success for a teacher who is hard-working, patient, loving, compassionate, understanding, committed, self-disciplined, God-fearing/loving .... the list of values he must possess is endless. Last but not least- you can't be effective as a teacher if you are inefficient. After my 40 years of teaching, I still ask myself, was I effective ?

emievil (author) from Philippines on September 14, 2009:

Thanks for dropping by Dolores. By everybody, I think I'll include myself. LOL

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on September 14, 2009:

I love the suggestion to 'lighten up.' A little laughter just wakes everybody up and establishes common ground.

emievil (author) from Philippines on September 04, 2009:

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment wannabwestern. =)

Carolyn Augustine from Iowa on September 04, 2009:

This is great information. I have taught a lot of Sunday School classes and volunteered in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. These principles apply there, and are so useful for those of us who don't have professional training in classroom techniques. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience. You've inspired me! I've joined your fan club!

emievil (author) from Philippines on July 24, 2009:

Thanks zylla

zylla3philippines from Anaheim, CA on July 24, 2009:

Sounds like you're on your way up...keep up the good work!

emievil (author) from Philippines on July 12, 2009:

Hi Lady_E. Thanks for the comment. I'll go straight to your hub and read it. I know I can pick up some good points there.

Thanks also for your advice on my nodding off students =). I'll remember it next time I see one of them do it again. They won't know what hit them =).

Elena from London, UK on July 12, 2009:

Lovely Hub Emie. I enjoyed reading it and one of the effective keys is definitely lightening up. There's always a lot of laughter in my lessons and it helps create an atmosphere whereby no one is afraid to ask for help if they don't understand anything. I wrote a Hub a few days ago that hopefully will make you laugh. Its called. Teaching - The funny side. Funny experiences I've had while teahing. Anyway, hope you have a nice long summer holiday. (as most schools are closed now for the summer) :)

Ps. As to students nodding off in your class, ask them to repeat the last thing you said. They'll stay alert for the rest of the lesson. :)

emievil (author) from Philippines on July 10, 2009:

Dohn121 - thanks for the advice. I'll try to incorporate that in my teaching in the future.

Brenda Scully - believe me, I'm far from being a good teacher. But it does help when I see comments such as yours and when I hear the same thing from my students.

Frieda - Thanks for the comment. Really nice to hear from you.

Dame Scribe - thanks. I try to be a big help to my students.

Gin G from Canada on July 10, 2009:

I always taught my kids that it's not a weakness to ask for HELP from the teacher. Great hub! :)

Frieda Babbley from Saint Louis, MO on July 10, 2009:

Wonderful points. These are definitely the basic foundations, aren't they. And yes, they work, no matter what the age of your students. Great topic. I enjoyed reading this.

\Brenda Scully on July 10, 2009:

well dkone love the kiten, teaching is a great thing to do, sounds like you are a good one....

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on July 10, 2009:

Great hub, emievil. What also might help is to encourage your students, a la one-on-one sessions. Lord knows that I was not the most obedient of students and so needed some special attention. Again, congrats on number 10. You'll reach 100 in no time!

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