As teachers, we know all too well that no two students are exactly alike. For this reason, it is important that we change up our teaching styles, strategies and techniques to prevent our lessons from becoming stagnant.
The not so great news is we are creatures of habit. It’s easy to teach the same way, from the same lesson plans and material that we are comfortable with over and over. I know I have been guilty of this many times over the years. The problem with that is our lessons get stagnant and predictable. Stagnant lessons can dis-engage students.
The good news, is we can change our habits and create engaging lessons.Here are a few ways to break some old habits and create more engagement.
Change the Environment and Break the Routine
If you are in a classroom, a simple thing you can do right away is change up the seating arrangement so you are not calling on the same kids over and over again. Or perhaps instead of your students sitting in rows, have them sit in a circle. If you are in a private studio, a simple thing you can do is change up the order you start your lessons in. Instead of beginning with technique for example, begin with theory. I’ve even heard of teachers taking the lesson outdoors! That not only would be a change in environment but probably a lesson that would not be forgotten.
Change your Attitude
This may have taken you off guard a bit, but a change in attitude about a new idea, technique or strategy can play a huge role. It is extremely hard to break an old habit or get away from becoming stagnant if we have a negative attitude about something we haven’t tried before. Fear itself can set us back and not allow us to progress and learn new things. We must have the same attitude that we would expect from our students when teaching them something new. The more positive we are in trying something new, the more engaged and excited our students will be about trying it too!
Get Outside of the Box
Of course we can’t break old habits unless we try something new. Try a new teaching style you haven’t tried before. Try using some new resources and materials. Try something outside your comfort zone. You never know, you just might like it.
We are so lucky that this isn’t difficult to do anymore. All one has to do is type into a search bar and you quickly become aware of all the new teaching ideas, strategies and techniques and methods that are out there right now. Once you find something that piques your interest then…
Invest in Learning
Whether it is taking classes or researching about it online, learn all you can. Invest in the time to learn so you can feel comfortable in implementing what you have learned.
Just Do It!
Whether it’s a new teaching technique or a new resource or method, after you decide how you want to change things up, just go for it! It just may be exactly what you and your students need to make lessons more engaging again!
This is especially important because as I mentioned earlier, old habits are hard to break. So take the time and re-evaluate. Did you slip back into your old habits? Are the lessons becoming stagnant again? Do what you need to do to make it engaging again.
Albert Einstein said, “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
If after you tried something new and it just didn’t work well, reflect on why that might have happened and adjust accordingly. It could be that that teaching style is just not “you” and that’s okay. You tried something new, now move on to something else.
I go through 10 different teaching style, strategies and techniques in the new online course, Activate Your Brain: Engaged Learning Strategies that Work! 4 hours of video modules and over 30 ways to check for understanding and engagement is only a part of what you will find inside. Included as a bonus is a growing bundle of supporting PDF’s that you will be able to use with your students as well! The course does not expire so you can take your time in completing the modules. Join me today! Register below.