Teaching

What Do you Get From Teaching?

According to surveys done in 2002, about 3.8 million people are engaged in teaching in different levels. About 10 % of teachers work in private schools, while other would work in public, parochial and charter schools. Public school teachers are required to pass licensure exams, while private school tutors are not required to take one. But there are states that require teachers to have continuous education like a Masters in Education. Why are there these numbers of people teaching or interested in handling noisy kids?

For those people who are after making influencing and helping children, then teaching is an ideal job for them. Major benefit of being a teacher is having wide life experiences. You can become a child’s inspiration, motivator, mentor, and educator. This would give you great memories. You get to have the chance of shaping or helping in contributing into your country’s future.

I think that this would be the primary and major benefit you will reap out of teaching. Aside from that, being a teacher would also give you sufficient time for vacation. You would have no classes during holidays and weekends. Aside from school breaks would also be vacation time for you. You can spend important days with your family. If you have nothing to do during summers and school breaks, you can handle summer classes or do other tasks.

But during school days, you would also have to face long hours. There would be times when you would have to stay up late, grading student works and projects, computing their final grades or even helping some students in personal problems and issues.

There are some states that require teachers to have continuous education. They could receive scholarships so that they could continue their education. Not only do they get the chance to return to school, there are also many venues for improving their knowledge and teaching skills. There are seminars and workshops sponsored by government and schools where teachers can participate.

Aside from that, teachers are also exposed to different kinds of students. Being exposed to different kinds of students can also contribute to a teacher’s education. Teachers would have different experiences each day, something to look forward to which is of course different from monotonous office work.

In terms of salaries, although it is not the highest paying job right now, teacher salaries gradually increase as your tenure as a teacher lengthens. Aside from sound salaries, teachers also have food pension plans, health insurance plans and other aspects of job security. Starting salaries could range from $19,000 to $33,000. Teachers who are also handling extra-curricular activities like athletics team or school newspaper, would also get additional salary incentives.

Teachers are also given the chance to explore their techniques and methods. Teachers can choose their own or draft their own curriculum. They could also select the materials that they want to use in their class. Teachers have the chance to express their creativity when teaching.

There is a continuous demand for teachers. Education has become one of the major investment of parents for their children’s future. If you do not like to work in your own state, you can combine travel with other your career. You can teach in other states or if you are more adventurous, you can try teaching abroad.

Teaching is never just about the money or the vacation leaves. It is more than that. It is about taking or putting the future into your hands.

Teaching Tips: Making Math Easy

I do not know about you, but when I was young I was pretty much intimidated with mathematics. There are kids that would have natural math skills, but for some children (like me), math could be difficult. Knowing this fact would actually help us have motivation to make math classes fun and interesting.

For some children, the biggest math challenge is becoming interested. The subject can be very boring since children find it difficult to understand, if they cannot understand something they would lose interest on it. But, you as a teacher, can make it different.

- Knowing basic addition and multiplication would go a long way. If your child knows how to add and multiply very well then it fractions and other math problems would not be of a big problem. If your child or your student is showing any sign of difficulty on this field, then make sure that they would be mastering this part first.

- Teaching math does not have to be just numbers. You can use different methods or approaches, math can be illustrated too. So you use different kinds of pictures to illustrate concepts. Children would easily understand if they can visualize it. This would be great if you are teaching fractions, addition, multiplication and other topics.

- Aside from using pictures and images, you could also use or incorporate games into your classes. You can determine a specific date of the week that you would be able to play games to exercise their math knowledge. You can give small gifts or incentives to students who have won. But to do not scold those who do not win, praise them still for their improvements.

- If you find playing games too rowdy and noisy, then another thing that could make math lessons interesting, is by encouraging students to answer a math challenges. You could also give them small incentives for taking part or answering the problems correctly.

- Sometimes, teachers tend to approach formulas in an imposing manner. They would force students to understand and follow the formulas, just explaining its basic concepts. But you could still make it interactive. You can encourage students to interpret and explain the formulas themselves. Let them share their opinions. They could learn a lot from their discussions with each other, compare to when you stay in front of them lecturing about formulas.

- Research is essential. Whether you are a teacher, tutor or parent, there are numerous ways or techniques that you can do to make learning fun for your kids and students. There are numerous books, websites and resources that can help you come up with your own teaching technique and style. Do not just rely on you school textbook.

- Tests and exercises do not have to be boring. You can create a different kind of exam like puzzles, riddles or brain teasers.

To be an effective teacher, you would have to love what you do. For math teachers, you can make the subject interactive, creative and fun if you really love the subject. For example, if you love doing something then it is natural that you would like to improve yourself in that field. The same applies with teaching. Your love for the profession will manifest on your lessons and how you strive to make your students learn something in your class.

Teaching Tips: Instructing ESL

English as the Second Language (ESL) class is about teaching English to those who have other languages as their primary spoken language. In a 2000 United States survey, it showed that about 10 % of the population do not speak English as fluent as other may be. Aside from that, there are also families whose main primary language at home is not English.

With these statistics, it would be very important to back these lagging students with some necessary language courses and programs. Today, high school and primary education already have ESL classes that can be offered with their foreign students.

If you are teaching ESL, then here are some important tips or suggestions that you could use for your next class:

- For them to understand you, you do not have to speak louder. They are not deaf, they are not just as fluent as you are with English. Speak slowly, clearly and with distinct sounds.

- To correct pronunciations, teach them how each sound is created, the proper position of lips, tongue and teeth for each sound. It would be better if they would speak slower first so that they would be more understandable. As they increase their ability, they could increase their speech pace too.

- Grammar can be very difficult and complex. Even fluent speakers would have problems or misses with grammar. You can use numerous methods that would easily help them understand, like reading newspapers, watching ESL programs, role-playing, writing short narrative and actual conversations.

- Encourage your students to participate or ask questions or clarify some points that they do not understand. If you think your students are not confident enough to raise questions in front of the class, you can explore other methods. Before your class ends, ask them to write points that they do not understand or their questions. Make these questions the starting point for your next class.

- To emphasize on a specific point or make sure that students will be taking notice of important parts of the discussion, make them understand that what you are saying should be noted.

- When learning a new language, being exposed to it as much is possible is important. It would help in speeding up their language understanding and being articulate. You can encourage your students to participate in social activities that would allow them to be surrounded with English speakers.

- Show some energy when teaching. Move around the room, use different gestures. Just make sure that your gestures would match the words that you are using. Do not be afraid to be funny and make fun of yourself once in a while.

- Positive reinforcement works with everybody. Acknowledge their improvements, compliment them with their developments.

If you are teaching a beginner, then it would best to expose your students to different voices speaking the English language. This would make them exposed to different kinds of accents and recognize English words easily. There are games that can encourage shy and reluctant students to share their thoughts.

Teaching formal English responses can be boring and dreadful for some students. You can introduce slang terms and responses that they would normally hear in public places. This would make your students acquainted with language that they would frequently encounter.

As a teacher, you would need to adapt to your students level and ability. Some teachers would have a checklist where they would be able to monitor their students’ development. This would allow instructors to improve or suit their teaching methods to their students’ interest, ability and capacity. Learn from your students too. Allow yourself to learn too. Student should learn from teachers and teachers learn from their students.

Teaching Tips: Effective Teaching For Teens

Being a teenager is one of the most difficult stages of our life. Teenagers would face difficulties since they are in the stage when they are trying to figure out their identity and try to fit in. If being at this stage is difficult, imagine dealing with more than a dozen of teenagers in a classroom setup and trying to teach them something that is not event their interest.

If you are a new teacher, then adjusting or dealing with teenagers could be very difficult but also a challenging experience. Some new teachers would say that teenagers could « smell fear. » When you are teaching teenagers, first impressions are very important. You would like to appear that you are a professional, knowledgeable in your field and that you are there to help them.

Of course you would also like to project that they could approach or ask for your guidance and advices, you are not only their teacher for their academic subjects. You are also their life coach and example. You can act goofy sometimes, you can inject humour into your classes. But be sure that you would make them understand that there are limitations, when they have to get down to their lessons then that should mean business.

When teaching teen-agers you could incorporate pop culture into your lessons to make it more interesting. Some experts said that a teen’s attention span could last as long as 5 minutes. But with numerous and different kinds of media around us, the attention span of teens are continuously decreasing. What better way to capture your student’s interest other than using medium that they really like. For example: songs, sports and other kind of entertainment. So it would be great, if you would also be updated with new trends in culture.

Aside from using different kinds of media form for instruction, you could also use or maximize having fillers or ice breakers in class. This would snap them out of the daydreaming and put them back into their lessons. You can even include interactive activities or games, you just have to make sure that rules and objectives are clear. This would help in avoiding any kind of misunderstanding between students and teachers.

Although, teenagers do not accept it easily, making them work with others would make it easier for them. When breaking teenagers into groups, you just have to have a plan that would allow you to monitor them easily and aside from that encourage them to do collaborative work.

Some teachers would just teach or instruct their students, not fostering any kind of active participation. It would be surprising for some teachers that teenagers would know a lot about something. So, allow your students to bring their knowledge inside the classroom. It would surprise you that they can share a lot and educate their classmates about numerous things.

When asking them to work into project, give or allow them to explore their creativity and express themselves. You can display the projects inside the classroom. Just like when you are teaching any level, positive reinforcement means a lot. So give them a pat in the back for a job well done. You can use positive and encouraging words rather than use words that single out their weaknesses and tend to humiliate them in front of the classmates and peers.

Teaching, regardless of any level, is a very rewarding experience. But do not get too depressed if your expectations are not met or they are not responding in the manner that you hope that they would. They may not say it, but you may be leaving a huge impact on their lives.

Teaching Kids Discipline

Discipline is important, whether you are teaching kids to be disciplined at home or at school. Not all people are capable of self-discipline, even adults find it difficult! Discipline needs to be developed during a child’s early stage, this would help them develop their attitudes and prepare them in handling school, work and other social activities.

- Home Discipline

Before children would even reach school or play with other kids, the firs social interaction that children would have would be with the parents. Parents play a crucial role in preparing their children for social interaction with their peers and elders. Most parents would think that discipline is more of punishment. Actually, it is more about teaching your kids to identify what is right from wrong and how wrong choices could put them into bad situations.

When teaching kids about discipline, consistency is the key. If you give in to what they want once they start crying, they would repeat it again. But if they see that you are firm and consistent, they will learn that crying and throwing tantrums will not get what they want. Inconsistency with your punishment and rules will make children to misbehave more.

If your kids are throwing tantrums, stay calm. The reason why your kids are throwing tantrums is because they want to get your attention. If you fuss or yell at them, it is still attention and it is more likely that they would repeat it in the future.

Too much is never good. Too much criticism can have an impact on how your child would view themselves. Too much praise would make the comments less effective. Positive reinforcement is also important. When commenting on the child’s behaviour it is better to use positive and encouraging words. Set a good example. As parents, the people they would usually see is you. They are likely to follow what you do and if you also abide with your own rules.

- School Discipline

Classroom discipline is another thing that most teachers dread, especially the new ones. Teachers have to deal with children that have different temperaments. Having a diverse group could sometimes put teachers in the edge of their sanity.

Before school year starts, you need to have a solid discipline plan. On the first day, the first thing that you should do is discuss the classroom rules. You could discuss it just like how you discuss academic topics. You could even include it in your syllabus. This would help minimize any kind of disruptive behaviour in class.

To earn your students’ respect, then be fair. You have to be conscious when making decisions. So, even if it is your best student that makes a rule violation, then give the corresponding punishment or consequence for their action.

If your students get to be confrontational, they try to avoid banging heads with them in front of the other students. You do not want to « humiliate » your student in front of their classmates. You can pull them outside after class or while others are busy with their exercise and talk to them, calmly.

Just like home discipline, consistency is important. Make sure that everyday the rules are followed, if not, the students would think that it would be easy to get away with misbehaviours. But do not bring the grudge until the next day. For example, a student did something wrong yesterday do not expect that they would do the same the next day. Give them a chance. But for example, they did the same thing for consecutive days, then consider having a good talk with the kids. A bigger issue can be bothering them

Teaching discipline is among the hardest thing to do. For me, it can be more difficult the algebra and Calculus questions. The children’s attitude in the future would depend on how they learn discipline early in their lives. It may be difficult, but for me the most effective method of teaching discipline is becoming the model yourself

Teaching Children With Learning Disabilities

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 4 million of children are being born or have learning disabilities. That would be about 3 % of the United States population are intellectually impaired. Teaching children with learning disabilities can be challenging and difficult for both parents and teachers. To be an effective teacher and cater to the needs of the children, teachers should be equipped with knowledge and of course, patience and the right attitude.

Medical studies have figured that learning disabilities and mental impairment occurs as early as the prenatal stage. Most people think that this has something to do with the intellect but the truth is it has something to do with the brain functions. The deal with learning disabilities is that it cannot be cured, but children can be taught how to cope with it.

Common learning disabilities would include dyslexia or problems in processing language, dyscalculia or mainly problems with math related subject, dysgraphia or issues with writing spelling and though organization, and dyspraxia or sensory integration disorders. There are also auditory and visual processing disorders.

Another common learning disability with be the attention deficit disorder and ADHD which refers to hyperactivity. There are also children with ADD or those who are inattentive but not hyperactive.

Teaching children with learning disabilities (LD) can try your patience. Teaching these kids could be easy as long as you follow or use applicable tips to your teaching style.

- In the beginning of the subject, explain the objective and goals clearly to the children. Explain clearly why it is important for them.

- Be specific. State your expectations from assignments and projects. If you are asking them a question, encourage them to share how they understood the question. This would help you deal with any misunderstandings about the instructions or questions.

- Include chapter outlines and study guides in your subject handouts. This would enable those with LD to reduce the weight of the course or subjects.

- You can use different methods to help students cope, you can break the class into several groups so they would be able to understand the information clearly and respond to lessons better.

- Make the lessons interactive and creative.

- Do not demand things that you know would be difficult for them to do, like ten-page essays. You could assign projects or homework that would involve their creativity, like including pictures in their written narrative reports.

- Too much is never a good thing. For kids with LDs, avoid giving them too much to do. They are not like other children that could accomplish things fast, they may need twice the amount of time given by regular students.

- As a teacher, you are not only responsible in making your student educationally equipped. Some students would find having learning disabilities very emotional and tend to have a very hard time. Work closely with your students with learning disabilities to help them ease the bad emotions.

Teaching does not only include arming your students with basic knowledge in academics. Making sure that you are reaching to your students and children with disabilities, mentally and emotionally, will boost your student’s self-esteem and confidence. They would be able to finish the work that you gave them and at the same time retain the information what you have taught them. As a teacher, you are not only an educator. You are also a guide and a life coach.

Strategizing: Teaching Approaches

To be an effective teacher, you would need to use different methods and strategies. Teaching strategies, of course would depend on how receptive your students are, topic and of course whatever is appropriate to the subject or course.

Here are some teaching strategies that you could use:

- Lecture

This is among the leading teaching method or strategies, if you think about it, there are about 80 percent of educational institutions who would use this kind of method. Although, there are new strategies can be used as medium of instruction, lecture method is still one of the most important ways to teach.

There are pros and cons for using lecture as your mode of instruction. It is advantageous since it allows you to convey as much information and knowledge as possible to a big number of students. But with this kind of setup, student participation could be weak and students may have issues with the retention of the what they have learned.

If you plan to use lecture as method of instruction, then it would be important to prepare an outline and make the lecture concise. You would also have to pay attention to the participants, so that you can get their feedback and points of clarification. You do not have to perform magic tricks to catch your participants attention, but would have to be excited and at the same time, deliver the topic well.

- Cooperative Learning

Another great teaching method that would give you benefits would be cooperative learning. It can also be called Collaborative Learning. Students are divided into groups and they are given tasks that they should accomplish as a group. With this kind of instruction, it is important that the facilitator or the teacher would monitor the groups to ensure that everyone is participating.

To get rid of this obstacle, teachers could give each member of the group a specific task that would be based on their ability levels. The groups do not have to be permanent. The teacher just needs to have adequate plans to accommodate all the groups and its members.

- Inquiry-based learning

This teaching method is slowly becoming popular in classrooms. In this method students would be able to learn by practicing problem solving and critical thinking. This method would entail planning, time, energy and patience. But the results are said to be very effective.

Students are responsible for learning concepts. They are encouraged to do research and improve their research skills. It can be used for different kinds of subjects and modified based on the age-group being taught.

- Distance learning/education

This is a new strategy brought about by development in our technology. Teacher and student, usually are not in the same place. Most distance learners are tied down because of numerous reasons, family or work. But even in these conditions they would like to pursue their education. Thus, universities and colleges started offering classes outside the classrooms.

Communication through e-mails, e-groups and online messengers are the primary means of communication. In this kind of teaching approach, the students and the teachers should be knowledgeable with recent computer technologies, especially for online messaging and the likes.

- Informal instruction

As the name itself says, this teaching approach uses methods which are less formal than usual teaching methods. If you are a teacher and you know your student’s interests very well, then this would be an ideal way of teaching. If you do not yet, then you can always ask them whether it is by group or individual.

Smooth Teaching Through Classroom Management

Teaching can be difficult if boisterous and noisy students will disrupt the lessons. As a teacher, keeping the lessons and discussions rolling could be difficult if you keep getting interrupted. This proved to be hard to handle especially for those who are just starting in their teaching profession.

Classroom management refers to how teachers make sure that lessons continue even with disruption. Classroom management helps teachers deal with issues about motivation, discipline and respect. There are different strategies and techniques that teachers use to make sure that their students are inspired, motivated and well-behaved. Of course, techniques would depend on the teacher’s preference.

The best time to let students know about your rules is during the first day. Even before classes start, you would have to know what to expect from students and how they can meet those expectations. So, when explaining the classroom rules on the first day, make sure that they understand it clearly and they know the consequences for not abiding the rules. If you fail to explain or provide punishments or consequences of violating classroom rules, then students would get confident not to follow them at all.

Make it a part of your course or subject syllabus. Discuss the rules, point-by-point if necessary. Just like what you do in academic topics. This would help clear out any misunderstanding and wrong interpretation.

Students who tend to become unruly are pushed into doing disruptive behaviour because they are bored. It is best to avoid an hour-long lecture. If you continue to do that, your students would sleep or play with their cellphones and other gadgets. If you notice that it would take an army before your students could remain strapped in their seats within the next hour, then incorporate different kinds of activities.

For most teachers, they would have three activities in a forty-five minute period. The student get to release their energy and at the same time learn something. If your students are trying to deviate the discussion into something completely irrelevant, then do not say that straight. You can try connect it and then start to get back to the original topic. If your students are becoming confrontational, then do not argue to make them agree with you. They would resist more if you force them. Let them see what are the consequences of their bad behaviour.

If you are having problems with specific students and they are becoming too much for you to handle, do not force it into yourself. There are many aspects or people in the school administration that could help. You can talk to the guidance counsellor and ask for any ideas on how to face or handle the issue. If the student will cooperate, you can have them meet the counsellor themselves.

Another strategy that teachers use is making their students feel that they genuinely care for them. You could ask them how they are whenever you see them. If they are really unruly, you could pull them out when everyone is busy and ask him what is wrong. Sometimes, students will tell you some problems they have encountered at home or at school.

Bottomline is students also have pent-up energy inside them. Those energy if unused in their lessons will explode in other ways. As a teacher, you would have to make sure that those energy is spent in a useful way. Teachers are not only concerned with academic teaching, but making sure that the students’ energy are put into positive and productive use.

Online Teaching: Is It Effective?

Many people are gearing towards online teaching. Why more and more people are showing interest is because of different administrative and accessibility reasons. For school and program administrators, facilitating online education can be a lot easier than traditional teaching.

Why?

First, materials could be easily updated. Access to certain files can be restricted by using passwords, time and date access. Aside from that, teachers could also facilitate large classes easily and subject and course materials could be easily distributed.

It is also more flexible, since online teaching can encompass different limitations like time zones, geographic locations and physical limitations. Technology can also help in enhancing learning and knowledge among students. Technology would also allow your students to collaborate with other student. Teachers could also explore different teaching methods of presentation.

To make online teaching a great experience for both teachers and students, there are things that you can do.

- Set time frames at the beginning of the course. Use these times to respond or reply to student comments and questions. This practice would help a teacher develop discipline among students and at the same time set a routine for them. Make sure that students re well informed about the time frame you have set.

If there would be any circumstances that you should change the time frame for responses, then make sure that you students are informed of the changes. Give them adequate time to be informed of the changes.

You should also inform your students if you will be missing for any part or the duration of the semester.

- If you have assignments and discussions, then provide general feedback to the entire class. This would allow students to get exposed to other ideas and at the same time learn from each other. Give your students positive reinforcement and encouragement. Give them feedbacks that would actually help them in improving their work. Comments like « good » can never be sufficient. Give enough comments.

- Avoid over-facilitating. As a teacher, you do not have to answer all the questions. If you having online discussions, let your students answer to each other. For example, if somebody asked about a certain topic do not respond immediately. After a few days you would notice that some of your students will be giving feedbacks or answers on their own.

- To make sure that the participation or discussion is continuous, regularly post acknowledgment to student comments or post an idea that would encourage students to answer or post messages. Aside from that, avoid having long lulls in the discussion boards. There would be times when students would no be posting anything since there are nothing new to post about, so best to avoid those circumstances.

There are also tendencies that students would stray away from the topics and discuss something else. Guide your students and make sure that they would be discussing the topic. Redirect the discussion but do not appear to be harsh, use humor, jokes or graphics to redirect the discussion.

- Before you move on to a new topic, make sure to summarize or having a closing session about the topic. Make sure that students are united in understanding the concepts. This would be the time to level-off with the students so that they would not get lost in the next topic.

Online teaching has many benefits, it is flexible and technology can be explored in different ways so that you, the teacher and your students would benefit from it.

Future Opportunities: Building Your Teaching Career

Teachers, who doesn’t know what they do? We remember them, loved them, hated them in some points of our lives. Do you think you have the guts to be one? Teaching may not be among the most dangerous jobs in the world, but it can be demanding, challenging as well as rewarding.

According to surveys done in 2002, there are about 3.3 million teachers in the United States. There are different kinds of teachers, they work in different kinds of schools. There are public or government subsidized schools, parochial or religious schools, private schools and charter or specialized public schools.

If you are interested on becoming a teacher, here are some fields that you may be interested in:

- Preschool and kindergarten- teachers would work with young children usually in ages 3 or 4. Those who would like to teach this age group should be able to work with children with different knowledge and social skills.

- Elementary school- teachers who are teaching this would handle a class for the whole school year. They should be able to teach different subjects. There are elementary teachers that could specialize in a particular field or subject like art or music.

- Secondary school- teachers on this level would be comprised of middle and high school teachers. They normally should be specialized in one or two subjects. They would teach their subjects to different classes in each day. There are teachers who find teaching this age group very challenging since students would be undergoing their adolescent stage.

- Special education- there are students that have special needs and there are teachers who are educated and trained to handle these students. Special education teachers can help those who have physical, emotional or cognitive difficulties and disabilities.

Some experts and teachers say that in order to become one of the good teachers that influence their student’s lives, you are not just an educator and coach, you become psychologists, mind readers and even drill sergeants. Dedication, of course, is important. You would only get to be effective and talented teacher if you really love the profession that you have chosen.

If you think that you have what it takes to be a teacher, then you can start learning how to be one. you can get your bachelor’s degree in college, there are specializations that you could choose from. If you planning to teach elementary then you would have learn or take different courses that would prepare you to teach different subjects.
After graduating from college, some teachers would take continuing education. It could be mandated by state law or could be done on their own will. Aside from continuing education, there are also certification and licensure processes that new teachers should take so that they would be able to work.

Not only do you have to be academically prepared, you should also be emotionally prepared. As a teacher, academic teaching is not the only that you do. They would come to your for advice and guidance, and you should be prepared to help them in different matters.

Teachers are not only educators, they do not just teach academic subjects and get done with it. Teachers are coaches, they motivate and inspire students to strive better and achieve their goals. Aside from teaching them to learn as much as they can inside the classroom, teachers should also encourage students to explore extracurricular activities. Not everything can be though inside the four corners of the room.