Top 10 Teaching Tips

SET THE STAGE

On the first day of class, it is important to set the stage for the rest of the semester. The first day of class should review the syllabus in full and outline how the semester will go. Class should not be dismissed after reviewing the syllabus. However, any extra class time can be dedicated to learning more about the students and their goals for the course.

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THINK-PAIR-SHARE

Another way to help students feel less intimidated by course material and participation is to have them work in groups. Think-Pair-Share is a popular technique that can elicit responses in students who may not feel comfortable. To do this, the teacher poses a question and has the students think about the answer individually. Afterwards, they are paired up and share their answers with their partners. Finally, the pair decides what they would like to share with the class.

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PREDICTING, RETRIEVING & INTERLEAVING

James Lang discusses these three techniques that can help with long-term retention of new material. Predicting allows students to use their existing knowledge to make an educated guess. Every time we retrieve from our knowledge base, we are further remembering content. Finally interleaving allows us to space out material over time which allows for continual retrieval. All of this helps our long-term retention.

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EMBRACE DIFFERENCES

Every student has a different background. As teachers, we must embrace the differences in our students and learn the best ways to teach them.

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LOW-STAKES WRITING

Low-stakes writing can help students develop their ideas without the fear of receiving a certain grade. We can also utilize these assignments as ways to assist the student in any misunderstandings.

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DISCUSSION STARTERS

Students may be intimidated by content they are unfamiliar with. One way to overcome this is to begin discussions with a real-world example that they may be familiar with. With this example, students may feel ready for the upcoming lecture and be more willing to participate. 

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TEACHER-STUDENT COMMUNICATION

It is important for any teacher to establish communication guidelines with their students. These guidelines can be established in the syllabus or discussed with students. This can include how to send a proper e-mail or when to follow up after an exam.

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MOTIVATION

There are many barriers and obstacles facing teaching AND students. By showing our students that we have emotions too, their attention can be grabbed, and interest peaked as we show them positive emotions such as curiosity and joy.

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ACTIVE LEARNING IS KEY

We can incorporate active learning techniques into our classes by embracing activities in which students work together. Research shows that students learn better from each other than simply hearing a teacher lecture. 

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YOU NEVER STOP LEARNING

There is always an opportunity to learn. No one knows everything and teachers should embrace the fact that there is new knowledge out there to be absorbed.