The Golden Rules of A Teacher (Part 6)
1. Use appropriate analogies, especially humorous ones.
2. Use props whenever possible. Student interest is piqued when they enter the room and see a jar of beans, a model airplane, guitar, telephone, or parrot sitting on the teacher’s desk. Almost any lesson can benefit from the inclusion of one or more props. If what you need is not immediately available, try using “invisible props.” Describe the needed item in detail, using gestures as though you were actually holding it in your hand.
3. A special form of prop is the collection. Campaign buttons, artifacts, insects, leaves, rocks, tools, costumes, or postcards are among items that interest students and enrich their knowledge of the academic subject. You can develop your own collections or invite parents and other community members to share theirs. It is best if they can bring their collection and talk briefly about it. Ask students questions about the items in a collection to encourage them to think about its value, purpose, and meaning.
4. Use music. Many effective teachers successfully incorporate music into their classes. Having music playing as students enter the classroom begins to set the mood for the day’s class. You can let students take turns bringing their favorite tapes or CDs to play before class or during breaks or recess. Soft music playing quietly in the background during individual seatwork can be pleasant and inviting. The beat of baroque compositions seems to work best for this.
5. Music related to the topic (for example, the Civil War, Ireland, China, the Roaring Twenties) can bring the topic to life and enrich students’ understanding of the subject. Use sound effects recordings for emphasis of important point. Some teachers even write new lyrics for familiar tunes. The new song conveys a message related to the day’s lesson or an upcoming school event. It is fairly easy to devise your own composition using a rap beat. Either you can sing it or get a group of students or even the whole class to perform. Try reading the day’s assignments to a rap beat!
The Golden Rules of A Teacher (Part 5)