It feels like every generation labels its kids as being the most apathetic and uninterested group of adolescents the world has ever seen. In truth, all children are lazy without motivation. What gets every generation of adolescents ready for adulthood is the tenacity of motivated teachers. Sloppily prepared lesson plans that don’t include all the core fundamentals can be just as much to blame for poor test scores and school performance in bored and distracted kids. So, what you need to know as a new teacher with an online MEAD degree is that students respond best to personal challenges made by emotionally supportive staff. Note that you can find the same kind of response in a group of adults in a continuing education class, so don’t think that teaching adults will allow you to start your career as anything other than being highly focused, creative, and energized.
Think About How Your Teachers Taught
Years ago, when you were not even sure that you wanted to become a teacher yourself, what did you learn from your instructors? Consider how they handled students who were not meeting academics goals, even yourself. Did they involve the parents right away or did they try to give students more attention? You may have your favorite teachers, but you will also learn by considering what your most effective teachers did to make kids want to learn more.
Use Technology to Stimulate the Brains of Students
You might take away cell phones from students at the start of class, but other types of technology usually provide lots of supportive materials. Classrooms are now using tablets as well as desktop computers to allow children to find answers in real-time. What you learn in a master of education in adult and continuing education program is just as critical as what’s learned when you receive education advice on how to instruct adolescents. Students engaged in the act of learning are stimulated when they swipe touchscreen tablets and click on the mouse in search of French philosophers, help with geometry problems, and guides on how to write research papers in MLA format.
Make Yourself Accessible Outside of Class
You’ll need downtime and time apart from the classroom, but try not to be the kind of teacher who is only available 45-minutes a day. Some of your students might need more time from you to help clarify homework assignments or to get assistance individually. Plan to stay after school two or three days a week to avail yourself to students that are having the most trouble grasping the materials you have taught. You’ll play an admirable role in boosting the confidence of students who get better grades thanks to your additional help.
New teachers getting their start in 2017 will be able to work with more tenured instructors for help, but they also need to become confident more rapidly. You want each of your students and their parents or guardians to trust that you can teach a given subject well. Most of all, your first teaching experiences will affect each new class that comes into your space afterward.