19 Best Teaching Tips for Teachers To Follow Online & Offline
Let’s look at the best teaching tips for every teacher to follow that can help you have a very successful teaching career and a very satisfying professional journey.
What is teaching?
Teaching as a term is defined in dictionaries as “to impart knowledge to or instruct (someone) as to how to do something”. It is also defined as “ to cause (someone) to learn or understand something by example or experience.” In today’s world of modernization, the words ‘teaching’ and ‘teacher’ are wrapped up with schooling and schools. Teaching has its existence since human beings have learned to live in civilization. However, the forms of teaching have undergone a transformation over the years. So as the teaching tips the teachers used to follow once upon a time. Teaching is no more a matter of just a teacher imparting education to his students from different states or countries. Teaching is now more about the usage of new modern software and tools as teaching aids.
Teaching methodology also varies based on
- Mode of education – Online or Offline
- Nature of students – Preschool, kids, adolescents, and adults
- The economic condition of the students
- Family history
- Physical status of the students – Normal or specially-abled.
In this article, we have tried to list out the best teaching tips for today and tomorrow.
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Teaching tips – Basic principles of teaching
There are certain principles of Good teaching which are universal in nature. The topic may be new or the type of the audience may change. Yet, many of the same teaching techniques apply to become an efficient and effective teacher.
Let’s have a glance at some of these basic principles of teaching and teaching tips.
1. It’s not about you; it’s about them.
This is one of the foremost teaching tips. There are certain teachers who assume themselves as the designated expert whose role is to impart their knowledge to students who are empty vessels. They share what they know instead of focussing on what the students want to know. Instead of testing self-knowledge, a good teacher should focus on the knowledge gain of his students.
2.Study your students.
A teacher should understand the nature of his audience. A teacher should try to know the talents, prior experience, and needs of his students. A teacher should be capable to listen between the lines and get a sense of the personality of the students.
3.Students take risks when teachers create a safe environment.
When the students come to a school or college, they have to acknowledge what they don’t know, take risks, and rethink what they thought they knew. That can be an uncomfortable, even scary situation for many of the students. What is required to be built in the confidence in the students need to know that they can trust the teacher.
4.Great teachers exude passion as well as purpose.
It’s the passion, not the expertise, which creates the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher. If the teacher is willing to take teaching as a passion, the students will be automatically drawn towards the teacher.
5.Students learn when teachers show them how much they need to learn.
This principle plays a very important role when it comes to teaching adults. The adults are already cooked meals. It is very difficult to mold them back into receiving stage. If the teacher can make the adults understand how much they need to learn, then only the adult students can reap the benefits of learning.
6.Keep it clear even if you can’t keep it simple.
One of the foremost attributes of a great teacher is the ability to break down complex ideas and make them understandable for the audience. This teaching tip is very effective for students of all classes.
7.Practice vulnerability without sacrificing credibility.
To some people, being a teacher means appearing as though you should have all the answers. Any sign of vulnerability or ignorance is seen as a major sign of weakness in the teachers. Instead of losing credibility, a teacher should try to gain students’ trust. The trust is the basis of a productive relationship between a teacher and a student.
8.Teach from the heart.
There is no formula to be a good teacher. It is all about how the teacher is involved in the process of teaching. Students understand better if the teacher is teaching from the heart. Another teaching tip is to be consistent without becoming predictable or boring. The best teachers keep it fresh for the students by finding new ways to express the same points.
9.Repeat the important points.
Repetition helps in the retention of knowledge.
10.Stop talking and start listening
Effective learning is a two-way street. It’s a dialogue, not a monologue. A teacher should listen to what his students want to say.
11.Avoid using the same approach for everyone.
A Good teacher believes that every student can learn, but sometimes he fails to understand that different students learn differently. Some learn more through visuals. Some grasp the abstract. Some learn best by reading aloud. So the teacher may adopt a multidimensional approach. He can read for some time, then go for self-study mode. He can show some videos or colorful pictures and try to give a live demonstration if possible.
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Teaching tips for Online mode of education
Though the online mode of education was known to the students with the inception of the internet, yet the mode was mostly used by adolescents and adults. It was mainly used as a secondary source of information and sometimes for self-study and self-knowledge. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed education forever.
The COVID-19 has resulted in schools shut all across the world. Globally, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom. In India, rural education has been affected the most.
As a consequence, the education system has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms by the schools and teachers.
Some research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information amongst students, and take less time in the learning process. This implies that the changes coronavirus has caused may be here to stay in the future too.
Online mode of education has now become part and parcel of our education system. Let us have a look at some important teaching tips for teachers teaching on online platforms.
- Record your lectures, don’t stream them. – If students are not well enough to attend live classes or are struggling with internet access at their home, they will miss a live-streamed lecture. A teacher should record videos instead and send them to his students so that they can watch in their own time.
- Show your face – Certain research has shown that lecture videos that show the face of the teacher is more effective than simple narrated slideshows. A teacher should intersperse his slides with his own video.
- Keep videos short – Videos longer than 15 minutes can cause issues of slow downloading and lead to distraction of students. The teacher should try for making shorter videos. If required, 2-3 short videos can be made to complete the topic.
- Test out slides – A teacher should make sure that he tests his slides on a smartphone before shooting his lectures so that all text is readable on small screens. Font sizes, colors, template designs, and screen ratios can be double-checked.
- Use existing resources and make sure they are open access – The teacher may use the existing source of information available over the internet. Making a new every time may not be possible for the teachers. Usage of open resources helps the students too to access the source of information and clear their doubts if any.
- Give specific instructions – A teacher may suggest watching online media on a particular topic of the syllabus. However, students will be put off watching if the video runs for more than 15 minutes. Instead, a teacher should suggest the exact parts (for example, 11th minute onwards) the students need to view. This can even make students more curious. When the teacher provides more than two resources, he should label them in the order he wants students to approach them. Simple numbering, based on the level of difficulty or importance of each resource item, can be of great help for the students.
- Provide interactive activities – Most learning management systems, include a range of functions to create interactive learning activities. For example, educational apps like ByJu’s and Vedantu use interactive activities like puzzles, quizzes, and doubt clearing sessions. Technical assistance by the IT department should be provided to the school teachers.
- Set reasonable expectations – While setting the questionnaire, the teacher should ensure that the students should be able to answer the questions by referring to the given learning resources. It should be kept in mind that the speed with which the subjective questions are answered by typing using the keyboard is different from that of using pen and paper. The word limit for the answers should be set accordingly.
- Use auto-checking to measure attendance – Technical assistance is needed for developing the tool to check attendance while using the learning management system.
- Use group communication carefully – Group communication shouldn’t be used for direct teaching. Instead, a teacher should set up “virtual office hours” on a video conferencing tool like Zoom. A teacher should simply log in at the appointed time and wait for students. A teacher should focus on providing social support and check if any issues need to be addressed immediately. This can be a great tool to collect student feedback on the teacher’s online teaching as well. A teacher should try to make meetings optional and be relaxed. A teacher should not be frustrated when no one shows up. Students are still happy to know that this option is available. When trust in the teacher gradually builds up, the problem of absenteeism won’t arise.
- Let students take control – A teacher can set up online group spaces for small groups of students and ask them to support and consult with one another before sending emails to him directly if the students have any doubts regarding any topic. The teacher can post a couple of questions to help students break the ice and start a conversation. A teacher should encourage students to use the communication tools they prefer. Some groups will click well and some will not, but this little teaching tip can make students feel socially supported and reduce the inbox traffic of the teachers.
- Repeat – It is observed that online students do not like frequent changes in their learning style. They are happy to repeat the same structure and activities on the online mode. Once a teacher finds a teaching style working for him, he should feel free to repeat it each week until he is back in your classroom.
- Ensure that the course has a coherent structure and materials are well organized – This teaching tip is most beneficial for the novice online teachers who have been teaching online post-COVID-19. While teaching online, the teacher should keep in mind that the course structure and materials are organized and comprehensive for the students.
- Send regular whole-class communications – Weekly assignments and periodic assessments for the whole class should be conducted by the teachers.
- Provide timely feedback on assignments – To keep a track of the students, timely feedback on assignments submitted by the students is essential.
- Go Beyond Speaking Presence – The sudden shift to online learning on a mass scale has brought the need to establish strong connections with students into sharper focus. This is hard to do in an online environment. The students view the teaching presence through the lens of all interaction they have with their teacher i.e. from emails to announcements and assignments to much subtler, background signals, like the way the course itself was organized. The digital tools that the teacher uses become extensions of his teaching. In other words, it blurs the lines between the teacher’s physical and virtual personae. It’s not the real-time presence of the teacher that matters much in the world of online learning. So when teaching online, the teacher should try to focus on asynchronous lessons and communication. The focus should be on whether the mode of communication is clear and quick enough to clear the doubts raised by the students.
- Signal Presence Through Clarity And Organization – As there is no physical presence of students and teachers, communication is more likely to break down in distance learning. The classrooms become increasingly asynchronous and are mediated through a learning management system (LMS), online documents, email, and other digital forms of communication. Online classrooms, like real ones, must also be navigable and easy to understand. The online teaching presence of a teacher is often communicated not by posture and tone, but by the virtual classroom’s organization and clarity of the teacher.
- Address issues of access and equity – It has been found that though 94% of children in the age group of 3 to 18 years have a computer at their home, only 61% have internet access at home. Hence an online teacher has to address issues of internet access while teaching.
- Create a schedule and schedule time to interact with students – A fixed routine should be fixed by the online tutors so that the students don’t forget to be disciplined.
Teaching tips for tomorrow – a new beginning
The only constant thing in this world is “change”. The education field too is not an exception. There have been changes in courses, curriculum, teaching aids, syllabus, and ways of teaching over a long period of time. A teacher not only teaches in school but also in private tuitions. The more the completion in the education sector is increasing, the more the students are seeking an effective mode of education.
Earlier, teaching in classrooms played a very important role in the overall development of the student. The ratio of teachers to students was also a major factor in deciding the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching.
But now the schools are closed. Many of the institutions have shut down. There are no children in playschools. The present scenario is the outcome of COVID-19. No one knows when the situation will be normalized like it used to be before the emergence of the pandemic at the beginning of the year 2020. But are we sure that things will be alike as they used to be?
The answer is “NO”. With the emergence of vaccines and massive vaccination drive, people will be more confident to move out in public and live a normal life. But this normal will be the “NEW NORMAL”. In fact, this new normalcy marks the commencement of a new beginning of the “HYBRID” mode of teaching – Blended learning or b- learning, a teaching system where both offline and online modes will be used to impart education. Fear of the outbreak of any new mutated variant of coronavirus will keep the students away from large-scale social gatherings in closed walled classrooms. Keeping in mind social distancing, the schools may promote 50% physical attendance of students at a time in the classrooms and 50% online attendance.
This will be a new challenge for the teachers as teaching tips for offline and online mode of education need to be compiled together. An effective teacher needs to be highly skilled in this semi-presential education system, a fusion of traditional education and modern methodology that uses technology.
Not all students learn in the same way. Some students are more visual and auditory while some are more practical who need to interact. As such, blended learning has the following advantages.
- Provides greater flexibility of time
- Decreases the requirement of mobility
- Promotes integration among the students with the exchange of experiences
- Enables development of collective dynamics in the students
- Facilitates assessment of students in a better and more comprehensive way
- Leads to better learning results through the use of more diverse means of information.
Here we have listed out some of the teaching tips that will be beneficial for the novice class of teachers.
Teaching tips for kindergarten
- The right balance of timings for online and offline mode – It will be difficult for the parents to accept the fact that from the very beginning their children will be forced to learn through online mode alone. It not only causes health risks with respect to the eyes of the kids but also the kids will not be able to learn the social skills. As such a correct balance of online and offline modes of education is required.
- Usage of short videos – One of the effective teaching tips is to avoid excessive stress on the eyes of the toddlers, the teachers can use short videos of 5 -10 min and ask the parents to get involved in completing the home assignments.
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Teaching tips for kids, adolescents, and adults
- Coordination between online lectures and offline lectures – A teacher should make sure that whatever online sources have been accessed by the students, the same should be clarified for any doubts if the students have in the offline classes.
- Access to smartphones in the classrooms – The students should be allowed to use smartphones in the classrooms so that they can access the online resources directly and ask the doubts that could not be cleared in an online session.
- Flipped learning – In this learning methodology, the teacher encourages a student to study a certain topic at home with the help of online resources and the next day discusses the topic in the classroom with other students.
- Mixed course – A teacher can use online classes to reinforce the content taught in the classrooms enabling greater retention of knowledge for the students.
Conclusion for teaching tips for success
This methodology of teaching may be new in our country but this method is already in use in many parts of the world like the USA, Brazil, Europe, etc. We don’t have to close schools but rather change the schools with time and technology so that our country can be enriched with knowledge leaders. The change may be slow but the change has to come for a better future.