Being a teacher is a full-time job, and by full-time, you know this isn’t just eight-hour days but also hours marking at the weekends, running after-school clubs, and keeping on top of every student’s paperwork and report cards. With all this on your plate, your lesson plans can get stuck in a funk as you find yourself teaching the same old things every year.
To help you to shake things up, not only to make your own job more interesting but to rekindle your student’s passion for learning, this guide is going to help you to make your lessons fun again.
It is much easier than you think to improve the way you plan and execute your lessons once you get started. You will soon see the positive results of your efforts once you get going with this exciting pursuit.
By the end of this piece, you will have a plan in place to revamp your classroom and start loving your job even more.
Extra material equals extra learning opportunities
As a teacher, you are having to follow an often-strict curriculum with your students so that they have the necessary skills to ace their tests and reports, but this can often be constricting to educators.
One way to make your lessons better is to bring in additional but relevant material to enhance the understanding and analysis of the subject that you are covering. It is now easier than ever to find research papers online that will fit with the lessons plans you already have which will help to get your students reaching a deeper level of understanding of the subject you teach. Doing this will only aid your student’s exam results as they will be able to demonstrate a dedication to their learning through providing additional sources and enhanced critical thinking in their work going forward.
A second way to help your students excel and improve your lesson plans is to ditch the traditional teaching style of students behind desks and you monologuing for an hour for these creative methods to keep students engaged. Depending on the age of the children you teach, you can find different methods to get them engaged.
Playing Games: This is something that your students may initially roll their eyes at but is always something that grows in popularity as the lesson goes on. It allows students to get on their feet to think about the subject and often to have a laugh and let off some steam as well.
Group Work: This is great if you are teaching a subject that involves debate and having to argue your point, such as English Literature or History. A great idea is to get a group of students together to write an essay play that has clear evidence to back things up, a coherent argument, and a counter-argument to work through to get them thinking critically and promote discussion.
Get the students to teach you: This is where you set a homework task or small-scale project that means students, either alone or in pairs, have to go out and research a topic and try to present something to yourself and the rest of the class with the aim of telling you something you don’t know. This is a nice challenge that stretches students’ imaginations and if you offer a small prize for the winners, will make the lesson have a fun, friendly, and competitive atmosphere.
Teaching outside the box
The debate around teaching outside of curriculum has been around for years and your ability to stray from the exam boards’ chosen path for your students will differ from school to school. However, there is a strong case to be made for going against the grain and teaching outside of the curriculum and one that you should take to your work superiors for some serious consideration.
Teaching something outside of the curriculum means that you will be able to relate the knowledge you are imparting to current events and trends as it is extremely important for student engagement that they feel that they are learning has real-world relevance to their lives.
This option doesn’t necessarily mean you need to write off whole lessons to discuss the news, but rather put ten minutes aside each lesson to discuss the relevance of the subject, what has happened recently that sheds new light on it, and to bring in those additional materials that will help to enrich the student’s learning experience.
Being a teacher is a gift of a job and by following this advice, you will be on your way to being one of the greats.