Monday, January 26, 2009

Back to Basics – Tips for Elementary School Teachers

Now that the holiday season is over, it is a great time to take a look at things we as teachers can work on. In elementary schools, there are still some negative people out there influencing children and creating a disdain and reluctance in students that will last far beyond this school year. For teachers who feel they are losing patience, take a look at this list and try to use these things in your classroom every day. Your students will certainly be better off as a result.

Encourage Curiosity

There is a time and place for everything, and where better for students to ask questions than in school? Although it may sometimes become trying and seem like a waste of time, kids are naturally curious and if they are discouraged from asking questions at a young age, they will fall far short of their potential. Setting aside a bit of time each day for answering questions or even actively writing them down will help foster this wonderful trait.

Keep Making Learning Fun

There is always a way to make learning fun and interesting, so look for new ways to disseminate information. Some may argue that it will not always be fun, but I beg to differ; think about teacher in-services—the ones that are fun involve many different learning styles and allow you to interact with your peers. Students crave this kind of authentic learning experience and will retain more information as a result.

Be Firm, Don’t Belittle

There is a big difference between being an effective disciplinarian and just being mean. Children respond better when treated well, yet firm. Have you ever walked down the hallway and heard a colleague yelling at a child? Not only is the child in question affected, but so is the entire class, as well as the teacher. Why go through this voluntarily? Make a conscious choice and be civil and firm with your students, regardless of how you or they have behaved in the past.

Foster Their Love for Learning

Somewhere along the way, students start losing interest in what is being taught to them. Finding ways to keep their attention regardless of the material will show that everything has value and is worth learning. Foster their love for learning by not always making a point of only studying what’s “good for them.” Learning about a wide variety of topics and subjects is the best path toward having well-rounded students.

This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of college degree programs online. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com
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Shari Lyle-Soffe said...

I am encouraged to read such good advice to teachers. Children are hungry for learning and need to be nurtured in ways that are not tedious.


kathy stemke said...

Thanks, Shari. Keep writing those great books for kids.