When I was at school, and even now I’m vocal coaching, I was taught that one of the most important things that can be learned from a teacher is enthusiasm for their subject, as this passes on rapidly.
Enthusiasm is important as it shows to students that there is something in life that they can really enjoy and can be good at if they put their mind to it, in fact, I remember my history teacher saying to me at school that where I was unable to put the words down on paper, my effort was exemplary, which I personally feel was due to his expertise and knowledge, and also the life experience that he had gained before training as a teacher in his 40s. I’d actually go as far as to say he is one of the reasons I am so passionate about helping others and making sure that everything is correct before proceeding with planning for anything.
Very few learners are naturally inspired to learn, much of this skill takes practice, which in many cases means feedback and constructive criticism, encouraging learners to believe that they can complete the course well and also making courses relevant to the students are important factors. If the learners believe that the course could be linked to them, it has been proven that they can succeed at this with relevant success. It is also important to create a learning environment where communication and dialogue is open and free, within reason, to ensure the comfort in the classroom.
One of the most important things I have learned is to capitalise on students needs without putting them down and to tailor a schedule to how long an objective is reasonably going to take to achieve, whilst at the same time holding high, but realistic, expectations of them. This can be one of the hardest parts, as some of my students don’t realise how good they actually are, when at the same time, some of my students feel that they’re better and can achieve more things than they can, whilst not realising how long it takes to be able to compete with the best. If I set homework, I tell students not to rehearse until this is complete, but to complete 30 minutes each evening of which when I see them next, I will give either a ‘satisfactory’ or ‘unsatisfactory,’ helping them to improve themselves whilst at the same time learning from the mistakes they make.
I understand that teaching will vary from place to place and that I work outside of a school, however these are some of the learned tips that I use to motivate my students.