Include technology in your lessons when you can, but don’t lose your human touch. Technology is improving at a rapid rate and all our students have phones with connections to the internet. So, we’ve got to start using technology in our classrooms to keep learners engaged.
The pandemic accelerated the use of online teaching methods. Right now, the use of hybrid-type classes has become commonplace, where the content is online and the teaching in class. Teachers can videotape themself and use Google Classroom, Zoom, Teams, and online games—all the content that they wish to use is online too.
Get permission from parents and management and start a social media group where you show parents what’s happening in your class. When you take photos of the kids’ projects, or what they’re doing in class, you can share it with the group.
Remember: Technology is changing, education is changing, our duty as teachers is to evolve along with it. I would suggest to everyone to embrace technology. Stop resisting it and add it to your class to improve the quality of teaching.
Teachers that use technology and are open to experimenting with various forms of social networking and hybrid teaching are paving the way to the future of teaching. Learn these skills and other teachers will start looking towards you for ideas. Be that leader that pushes this forward.
Be mindful of sensitive topics. There are some taboo topics when it comes to teaching, especially younger learners, and even up in high school. They can include politics, drugs, swear words, and alcohol. There are teachers that specialize in teaching it, but if you teach a different subject, do not go into these topics because a lot of teachers have gotten into trouble by pushing these issues.
I recently heard the story of a teacher that taught their kids about swear words. One kid took a picture and showed the parents and that teacher got fired. I don’t want to scare you because a lot of students come to you and they ask questions, but you’ve got to be smarter about how you approach these sensitive topics.
Most of you will be relatively new teachers, so avoid these topics if you can. Tell the students, “Listen, that’s a sensitive topic, perhaps go and speak to a counselor about it.”
If a student is in trouble, you should lead them and help them and put them in the correct way, but protect yourself and your integrity first.
Remember, you’re a professional and because everything is public, a misstep can have dire consequences for your career.
Be careful not to disrupt students while they are busy with a task. Sometimes we give students an activity to do and while they are busy working on it, we want to tell the class something or discuss something with one student, but resist the temptation. Don’t do it unless it is necessary, because it takes some time for them to focus and get on task. You do not want to break their momentum.
When a student wants to get your attention while the others are busy, let them raise their hands when they have questions or are experiencing a problem with the work. You can then approach them but try not to disrupt the others because they will look up to listen and that takes precious time and focus away from them.
A very good tip I’ve heard recently is to let the students show a number: Let’s say they raise their hands and show number one, it means that they’ve got a question. If they’ve shown number two, it means they need some help, so you can quietly go over to them and help without disrupting the rest of the class. If they show a number three, it means that they’d like to go to the bathroom. In that case, you can nod and they can leave. This is a great tip because it won’t disrupt your students. So, the rule is if your students are busy and productive, try not to disrupt them.