Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Break Free from the Monotony. Transform Your Teaching Career

teaching career

If the air is becoming dull in the classroom, take charge and stir it up

For any teacher worth his/her salt; monotony can be the toughest curse to encounter in this profession, whether it happens on this side of the desk or on that side, is irrelevant. The monotony in teaching sets in due to  various reasons.

The course requirements and content can be such that they easily turn into a boring
stretch every time. After all, how subjects like Maths or Paleontology made more fun? The routine that one tends to fall in over the course of many years or initial conditioning can further amplify the boredom factor.

Then there is one’s own stage and set of skill-sets which may desire change as per changing times as well as education dynamics. Believe it or not, even teaching as a profession is fast joining the league of constant improvement, skill enhancement, and new competencies.

To add to that, fast-dwindling attention-spans, distractions, technology-dominated brains etc., are making it all the more difficult to instill excitement in a typical classroom setting.

The only way to break this monotony is to first recognize that such a problem exists and then to assess it without any bias or judgement. This will then include acceptance of some constraints that cannot, in a practical context, be tread over. Yet, some room and possibilities still remain.

Give your best shot to these:

  1. Do the opposite. Instead of treating and criticising technology as an adversary, try using it on your side. Many tools, games, interactive websites, and series are available today that make it easy as well as fun to impart a certain topic or subject in a fresh way.
  2. Try to assess if your knowledge as a professional in this field needs any boost. There are a couple of exams as well as training courses, for instance, the CTET, for putting you back on the fast foot here.
  3. Experiment with teaching styles by mixing competition, participation, creativity and first-hand experience to a given subject and classroom. Try to break the class into groups and challenge them with projects and goals to channelise their time for a particular lesson.
  4. Some latest industry certifications can help to add new strengths to existing teaching profiles or even help you leapfrog from a basic teacher to specialized and high-growth areas. Try the CTET for better job prospects and new avenues.
  5. On your part, you can make your teaching routine a little different every time by trying the game approach, the discussion method, homework-tweaks, lecture-spins etc. The way you design lectures, takeaways and the approach you undertake for research can also be attempted from a different direction. The more refreshing the new approach is, the less boring teaching would continue to stay.
  6. Today, ample capsule-courses, as well as proper certifications exist and that too, in an online format to allow the flexibility of strengthening yourself with what’s new out there.
  7. The golden rule of breaking monotony since decades – whenever you fall in a rut, change the direction. So, even after you start applying participation as a way of breaking dullness, some time later, you might want to reconsider and refresh by changing the direction again.
  8. Teaching has to be sincere  but it never has to be dull. Join group networks and professional communities to learn what your peers are doing and with some fine cross-references and best-practice-sharing, there’s so much that can be dealt with.
  9. Join some training courses like the ones around the CTET that align with latest education trends so that you stay up to date with what’s working and flowing today. This will make your career contemporary and industry-ready. Since this test requires a thorough understanding of Teaching Pedagogy and knowledge of the basics of many subjects it is advisable to get coached for increasing the chances of success. Professional coaching Institutes like TalentSprint who have trained thousands of teachers for these kinds of exams can help you learn what you need. The courses are delivered in both classroom and online formats, making it easy for anyone, anywhere to access their expertise.
  10. No matter how rigid the curriculum is, every subject today is adding new insights and updates. Being in sync with the latest journals, research progress, and news, in general, can not only help the subject with the most recent content but would also make it interesting to teach and learn.
  11. Pace and variety are great elements to play with. Use them in your lectures. Try PowerPoint slides, animation, monologues, old-fashioned reading, videos, field visits, lab tasks etc., to inculcate variety for both yourself and the learner.
Above everything else, always approach the class and subject with zeal. If needed, take a break, a detour for some days, add a new skill, take the latest proficiency exam or training and strike back with renewed energy.

When there is passion and energy, boredom and monotony find little place to hang around.
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