Posted date: Mon Aug 26 16:50:00 SGT 2013 Mon Aug 26 16:50:00 SGT 2013
My Teaching Style
It is important that students are clear about their objectives in attending the class so that they are motivated to learn and work towards their goals. Having the right attitude is critical in learning. They will then be inspired to excel and not simply getting a pass in the subject. I will always state my expectations clearly during my first lesson and remind them in subsequent lessons to encourage them and to remain focused.
To me, every student is important and I hope to build mutual respect and a conducive teaching-learning environment for them to grow into successful and responsible individuals. This includes little gestures like muting their hand phones during the class so that no one is distracted.
Evaluation, Assessment and Encouragement
Knowledge will not empower one for success, but applied knowledge will. Tutorial exercises and random questioning during lectures are essential approaches to assess if students fully understand the concepts being taught. Although these students are adults, I will still reward them with chocolates for correct answers during tutorials. Some have told me that the chocolates are actually great mental and physical energy-boosters and stimulators!
Whenever a student is stuck at a question, I will guide them step-by-step, giving hints to help them arrive at the answers on their own. This helps to boost their confidence in the subject and to better grasp the concepts. At the commencement of the next lesson, I will recap the previous lesson and give the students a formula sheet to help them remember and retain the learning points better. It is especially encouraging when students email me solutions to questions that they have attempted on their own. In such instances, I will make special mention of these students during class to motivate the others to do likewise.
Availability and Accessibility
I make time to walk around the class to give individual attention and to get to know every student by name. Students can also reach me during breaks or after class if they have any questions or need clarifications. Such interaction not only enables bonding, it allows me to evaluate my teaching methods and to pace it according to the students’ learning styles. The students’ esteem is enhanced as they are assured that I am interested in them as individuals and not just in helping them to do well in the examinations.
For those students who may have difficulty concentrating during class, I will make an effort to counsel them whenever possible. Recognising that students may feel tired, I will normally give a short break during lecture for them to rest and be refreshed. Sometimes, I will crack some jokes to help them stay alert and attentive. When lessons are taught in a more lively way, students tend to be more responsive. Other than school work, I will also lend my ears to students to pour out their anxieties particularly when they feel the pressures of assignment deadlines.
This is the overall driving force that enables me to come well-prepared for class and to teach with enthusiasm. Teaching is not just a profession to me but an expression of my love and concern for my students. Every life that passes by me is precious, and I am mindful that I play a significant part in their life journey. Therefore, I must give my best to them. It is heartening to note that students are eager to do their best when they come to realise the genuine love and care from their teachers. My hope is for my students to recognise their potential and be the best that they can be.
Article contributor: Janice Lee
Janice Lee was awarded the Teaching Merit Award during the Faculty Appreciation Dinner 2011. She currently teaches in the MFS and DMS programmes
Category: Motivation, Best practice