Remember those faces in your junior school? When they enter in your class a sudden sparkle in your eyes greets them and you become instantly attentive as if you knew there is definitely going to be some exciting activity in the class. Those were the teachers you would never forget. Whenever you hang out with your old pals or at class reunions, you would always talk about those teachers and the way they made your childhood a fun era to live in. You would never compare those kind souls and smiling faces with other teachers. They were more than just teachers to you. They were the ‘Mentors’ transforming your childhood and leaving long lasting foot prints on your memories.
If you are a teacher today, then you must be wondering what secret (teaching techniques) they possessed. How can you become like them?
Common Mistakes and Corrective Actions
A teacher is like a stage performer. The audience is right there in that very moment. And the feedback is instantaneous. Everything counts. Your actions, your words, your personality, everything. If you make learning fun for your students, they are instantly going to fall for you. They would always be waiting for your arrival. They would always be attentive and responsive in your class.
Empty Vessel Concept
A conventional teacher thinks his job is to just pass on the knowledge to the students without realizing the level of each student and the capacity of each student to digest that information. He thinks of students as empty vessels that are waiting to be filled up. This mindset needs to be changed.
The teacher constructs a box in his mind and wants all the students to fit into that box. And tends not to focus on those students who refuse to fit into that box.
Teacher Talk-Time (TTT) vs. Student Talk Time(STT)
There are some beliefs associated with teaching. One of them is that teachers have all the say in running the show and students are just mere spectators in the class. If that’s the case, it’s the teacher who becomes active and epitome of learning because children have nothing to share and contribute but be passive. This is the main factor students don’t show interest in lessons and get bored easily.
Children have a short concentration span and have the tendency to get distracted if they are not engaged in an activity. Teacher talk time is relevant as long as it’s giving an input in explaining something new with the help of teaching aids or demonstrations. To get the output from students it is necessary to tap their imagination and check their prior knowledge through an interactive session.
Therefore, we need to balance TTT and STT to achieve the learning outcomes otherwise teacher centred classrooms will generate only blind followers not leaders, imitators not innovators. It is high time to change our teaching beliefs so we can produce inventors, discoverers, researchers, explorers, scientists, critical thinkers, Microsoft engineers and so the list goes on.
Play many roles to play the role of a mentor
The question arises here is, are teachers ready to transform and make a quantum leap to become a mentor so they could truly be called nation builders.
To become a mentor, you need to be aware of different skills and techniques. These skills like critical thinking, analytical processing, observational queries and conflict management cannot be learnt overnight, they need practice and guidance with the help of trained personnel. Teaching skills and techniques like elicitation, Instruction Checking Questions (ICQs), Concept Checking Questions (CCQs), signposting and back chain drill are not common in practice in our educational institutions.t
Nothing makes you happier than the feeling of being an inspiration for others. Every teacher has an opportunity to become a diva or a legend. Most just don’t know. The key is to polish yourself by continuously improving your potential through learning and adapting modern teaching skills. The techniques discussed above require professional help. Teacher training plays an important role in your career and helps you transform from a teacher to a mentor.