A teacher’s success is also their students. Indeed, to be good at your job as an education professional you need to be able to help your students achieve. Of course, to do this, no matter what topic or age you are teaching, some very specific skills need to be covered, find out what they are below.
Learning how to learn
One of the most important things any teacher can go through with their students is Learning how to learn. This is because it makes critical skills for the learning process overt instead of keeping them hidden away.
What that means is instead of expecting students to understand specific and complex processes like how to read and make effective notes, how to structure an essay, and even how to answer an exam question correctly, teachers tutor them in the best way to do this.
Of course, when it comes to structuring essays and answering exam questions, teaching your students how to read and understand a mark scheme is vital. Then they will be able to pick out the most important elements that will allow them to raise their achievement to the next level.
Yes, it can take up a little extra time in class, but the benefits gained from modelling good answers, and effective note-taking will not only help them succeed in your subject but will provide them with the basis for skills that will carry them throughout their educational career and later life. Allowing your students to be able to learn quickly and effectively no matter what situation they find themselves in.
The human brain is adept at creating stories, and it’s a good job too, as being able to engage an audience, go through how a task was completed, and convey meaning in a story is just about one of the most vital skills that students of any age need.
Of course, anything you can do to help them improve their story creating and telling abilities is a good idea, especially at a young age. With that in mind, using resources like these writing worksheets from Studentreasures Publishing can be an excellent idea for younger students, as it helps them create a firm foundation on issues such as the type of writing they are dealing with, and planning stories that will stand them in excellent stead as they develop.
Older students can always benefit from a recap of these more basic skills as well. Something you may like to do by using a famous / well-loved story example, and deconstructing it, so as not to make it relative while still reinforcing the key skills needed
Memory is a funny old thing, and many of us believe that we were born with good or bad memory skills and there is nothing we can do to change them. However, this is not the case, as it is entirely possible to work with students to improve their recall, something that is vital for their performance in exams, timed essays, pop quizzes and debates.
Indeed, there are a variety of tactics that can be used to help facilitate better recall. One is to encourage the gamification of learning, by creating simple matching games with key terms on one side and definitions on the other.
Another great option is to write a topic and 5 keywords about it on a card, and then give that card to a student. Their task is to then describe the topic on the card without using those keywords, which makes a simple recall task a lot of fun.
There are even techniques that use particular scents or colors that are associated with certain topics, the idea being that the scent or hue helps to trigger recall when needed.
Evaluation and critical thinking
While much of our education system favors recall, it is vital that students also learn about analysis and critical thinking. Indeed, evaluation and recall go hand in hand because students must be able to recall facts to evaluate them.
However, recall alone is only suited to a very surface level of education, and it’s when we teach our students how to think critically that really deep thinking happens. Indeed, in today’s post-truth society there has never been a more important time to teach students how to evaluate the validity, logic and legitimacy of information presented as facts.
Teaching critical thinking can be challenging though, usually, if your student hasn’t been asked to think in this way before. A helpful approach can be to compare and contrast ideas from thinkers in your subject, which can help introduce a variety of ways of seeing the same problem.
Learning how to work in a group
There are few careers or situations in life that don’t require at least some teamwork, and that means making sure your students understand how to work effectively in a group is one of the most important things you can teach them.
Practice is the name of the game here, so make sure that you offer as many opportunities for group work as appropriate. Swapping over group members is a good way of getting them used to working with a range of people too, and to prevent groups from becoming stagnant.
You may even wish to dedicate some time before they go off to work on their assignments as a group to outlining everybody’s roles and what is expected of them. This will then empower each individual to ensure that standards are being met by everyone involved.
All too often, it is the teacher that is the driving force of motivation for the student. They are on hand with encouragement, consequences, and short snappy tasks that keep successes close. However, in real work, the tasks our students will be assigned rarely match what we give them in the classroom. What this means is they will need to know how to motivate themselves to complete them even when there is no one standing over their shoulder.
To that end, offering longer project-based tasks, where students have the opportunity to pick the topic and the questions they address can have a huge positive effect in getting them used to motivating their own learning and productivity.
Now you know more about the vital skills that every student must learn you can use this info to inform your own professional teaching practice, or in your question to open your very own educational institution.