We demand attentiveness from our students every day. But sometimes we forget that our own body language and eye contact matters when we teach. If we look bored ourselves with the lesson or fail to speak directly to individual students, they notice that lack of attention and tune out. Convince your students of the importance of your lessons by using your own personality and body language to get excited about it.
The two most important parts of each lesson are your introduction and conclusion. Introduce your lessons in a way that gets students excited and conveys the importance of what you’re saying. If you simply stand up and drone, ‘We’ll be learning today from chapter 21 in our textbooks’, your students will start tuning you out and find alternative entertainment. So find ways to begin and end lessons with an impact. Think about activities and stories you can include to help.
A huge part of being a teacher is being prepared. Each night we look at our lesson for the next day, assembling questions and activities that will keep our students engaged. But sometimes we focus so much on our material that we forget about our delivery. Before you step into class each day, plan how you want to convey your lesson. Consciously plan your tone of voice, body language, introduction and closing.
It’s not helpful for us to get used to repeating ourselves in class. It causes students to get complacent and tune us out. But repetition in other forms can be an incredibly useful learning tool. Students can use devices like flashcards and participate in repetitive activities like homework to truly learn new concepts. Repeating a concept can be like practising a sport: As the student, you acquaint your mind with that concept and make it second nature to recall it.