Posts Tagged ‘choices’


Golden Tips on How to be a Great Teacher

by Usha Pandit

Here are sImageome lessons you never learnt at the Teacher Training College:

1. Go with the nature of the child. Let your class be active and explorative; encourage curiosity and imagination; be playful, and inventive. Success lies in going with the natural flow of the child.


2. Do not explain lessons. Let children discover concepts by observation, hypotheses, and experiment and then seek clarification and confirmation from you. Their brains were designed to explore.

3. Model creativity by approaching lessons in different and unexpected ways, so that you catch their attention every time. Predictability kills interest.

4. Model risk-taking by letting kids have a go at unseen topics by providing them with some thinking strategies. This creates fearlessness for the unknown.

5. Give them choices in their assignments and celebrate the variety of expressions that emerge from the same lesson. This display of plural possibilities layers the mind with exponential creative ideas.

6. Share your own learning journey with them so that they can see how it matches their own learning confusions and problems, and know they can overcome them like you did.

7. Sometimes, be fallible, be vulnerable and apologize too, as it shows them that false pride should not be valued over honesty. It models humility and raises your stature in their eyes.

8. Value teacher time and do not give too many worksheets in class where you do not spend real contact time with the children. Teacher time is precious. Preferably, let them learn on their own and do “homework” with your assistance.

9. Don’t be overly mean or overly generous with your remarks on their assignments. Let honesty rule, but gently. Children are alert to false praise; and become immune to judgemental sarcasm or inane aphorisms. Self-preservation is a strong instinct that will deny you access to their minds.

10. Show them you are on their side when they fail. Emphasize the ‘we’ in the message ‘We will put it together soon’. This creates confidence in solving what seemed to them to be insurmountable problems and increases their bonding with you.

11. Every conflict is an opportunity for the teacher to model a life value to children. Use it wisely to create wisdom with lessons that are not available in textbooks. Observe, listen and be engaged with them. Be eager to provide life-enhancing and life-supporting lessons.

12. Enable a feedback session for children’s academic and creative products where peer criticism is constructive and collaborative. This creates a support system among peers; and shared ownership of their products.

13. Know that the classroom belongs to the child and you are there because of him/her. Make sure your voice is heard only to provide cue questions that will trigger the child’s thinking and learning process. Children must own their classrooms.

14. Be passionate about your subject. Passion is infectious. It ignites and sparks interest in passive minds. Your class will reflect your animation or your dullness.

15. For children to know that you genuinely care about their learning, you need to demonstrate it in your planning and facilitation, in remembering their doubts, in talking to them about your dreams for them. You can then demand anything of them and they will give with love.

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