When you have to work with children in school, you have some troublemakers, but in general they work hard because they know that if they fail a class, Santa will not give them a new bicycle for Christmas. In other words, school students must study and they know it. But when your job is to teach adults, everything gets more difficult as these students realize that they study only for themselves and that there are classes which are more important for their future career than the other ones. Moreover, there are courses for professionals who have been working in their industry for years already and need to take these classes only to get an additional certificate or meet another company’s requirement. This is quite challenging to teach adults because they either have to need your class for their career purposes or have to be very interested in it to listen to you attentively. So are there any ways to make your students love your class and your subject? Certainly, there are, and the most effective way to make students get excited about the subject is to make them like their professor.
You Want Your Students to Be Happy, Not Bored or Depressed
First of all, a teacher’s task is to make his/her class look warm, friendly, and welcoming. For students of any age it is more pleasant to come to the class where they do not feel uncomfortable and can enjoy a lecture or tutorial. Make sure that the classroom you are teaching in has a comfortable temperature and enough light. If it does not, then you should figure something out to fix this problem – not a single teacher wants his/her students to fall asleep right during the lecture because it is too dark or too hot. Welcome your students with a smile; you need to let them know that they can rely on you and ask for help anytime they need advice or consultation. If the size of the class allows this, make sure you memorize your students’ names as fast as you can and use them as often as possible during the lecture. Try to do this even if the size is big – students will feel respected, and you will have a great opportunity to establish that contact which is so crucial for successful teacher – students’ relationships.
Surprising Your Students Is a Perfect Way to Motivate Them
Every student knows when a professor just wants to give a lecture quickly and finish the class very soon. This way it is extremely difficult to motivate students. If they are in this class, then there is a chance that they are interested in the subject, and your goal is to meet their expectations. Make sure to provide them with updated information. Good old facts are not so good anymore; it is really hard to surprise modern students when they have access to all the possible sources of information. Do your own research: you are a professional in the field that you are teaching, which means that you know where to look for the interesting materials that will amuse your students. Show them how the discipline you are teaching is evolving and is applied in practice – this is the only way to demonstrate them that what they are doing is useful. This is how you can motivate them to learn more.
Even Adult Learners Get Tired and Inattentive
Try to avoid monotony in your class. It is a common knowledge that for students it is complicated to maintain attention during long periods of time. So if you want to help your students keep being active and interested, divide your class into several cycles that will last for approximately 15-20 minutes. It is a very good idea to include different kinds of activities into these cycles. For instance, the first part of the class can be a lecture; during the second part students will work in pairs or groups discussing some issue; the third part will be students’ presentations, etc. When people need to switch their attention from one activity to another, they get less tired and more excited about their learning process.
Students’ Opinion Exists and You Want to Know It
Another thing that teachers should do is to ask for feedback. You can do it once or twice per term. First of all, any feedback is very helpful for teachers. If they are not sure whether their teaching technique is working or not, they can always ask their students to answer your questions and submit anonymous reports. This way you will be able to see if you should keep using this technique or you should improve or change it. Secondly, when you ask students to give you feedback, they feel that their opinion really matters. They can see you are working on the development of a better program for them and appreciate it. This also helps teachers establish closer contacts with students. By giving feedback they know that they are actively involved into the learning process and that their voice is very important.
People Love to Laugh
If you think that a teacher has to be always serious, you are wrong. We are all humans, and humour is exactly what we all need when it comes to serious things. Learning process is not easy, but a good joke or a nice anecdote can always make a lecture nicer and easier.