There is a fine line between being busy and being productive, often the line gets blurred in the dust of daily tasks, the routines of a teacher are hectic, being productive is a good aim. ‘Busyness’ can be a real thief of time. Productivity can add hours back into the day and help us get more done with less stress in less time!
Perhaps you know a teacher who gets to school early, drinks coffee, chats, complains, and flutters around, they can never get on top of their workload.
The sad truth is, this to and fro motion of moving from one desk to another, one class to another, this cycle didn’t end even with the online setting of education. But don’t worry that’s covered as well.
First let us take a look in to some of the most effective ways of increasing the productivity in your class.
Let’s start shall we?
1. Make learning relevant
The more relevant a topic or subject is to students’ own success and happiness, the more engaged they’ll become in the learning process.
On the whole, when teaching math, science, social studies, even history, find ways to adapt the lesson to the interests of students. It’s also helpful to discover the interests, talents, and learning styles of each student if possible. As resources permit, adjust teaching methods and strategies to meet the needs of students on an individual basis and you’ll see students become more attentive and engaged.
2. Develop a Code of Conduct
If students don’t have a clear and agreed upon understanding of positive and negative behaviors, it’s difficult to create a positive learning environment in the classroom and at school.
The first step to establishing a code of conduct is to ask students how they like being treated. From this question students should be able to brainstorm a list of behaviors they believe are respectful, kind, fair, and appropriate.
At this point, together students and teachers should be able to agree that treating others the way we each want to be treated is the best code of conduct, and should set the stage for appropriate classroom behaviors.
3. Employ a Positive Action Curriculum
While it would be nice if all students shared the same understanding of positive behaviors, they don’t. Children come from diverse family, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
All these influences, and others, shape students’ perspective of what’s appropriate, and what is not. It’s important that students are taught positive behaviors in a consistent and systematic way at school and in the classroom. Developing a Positive Action curriculum is one of the most effective ways to teach and instill in students positive behaviors.
Positive action curriculum should teach students that positive actions lead to a good feeling and positive self-image.
Positive actions such as nutrition, exercise, and sleep lead to a healthy body. Positive actions such as problem-solving, decision-making and thinking skills develop the brain and make us smarter. Positive actions such as kindness, living the Golden Rule, and being respectful allow us get along with others. Positive actions such as time management and managing our emotions help us better manage our own affairs. Positive actions such as admitting mistakes and taking responsibility for our actions allow us to be honest with others and ourselves. Positive actions such as goal setting lead to personal growth and improvement. Positive actions lead to positive behaviors, which help children feel good about themselves and others.
4. Help Students Develop Intrinsic Motivation
Feeling good about themselves is an intrinsic motivator to students–especially elementary age students–and positive actions help children feel good about themselves. So, how do you help students consistently engage in positive actions? First, actions are always preceded by thoughts.
Second, actions and behaviors are typically consistent with thoughts. Third, feelings, children experience about themselves, are based in large part by their actions. Helping students learn that by changing a negative thought to a positive they can produce positive actions, and that positive actions will help them feel good about themselves is a powerful intrinsic motivator.
5. Reinforce Positive Behaviors
Recognizing and reinforcing positive behaviors is one of the most effective ways to produce positive actions in students, strengthen intrinsic motivation, and create a productive and positive learning environment.
Certificates, stickers, toy prizes, tickets, tokens and other reward systems are great ways to recognize students and reinforce positive behavior and achievement in the classroom. However, it’s also important to help students make the connection between positive behavior and the good feeling it produces not just the physical award.
As students make that connection between positive behavior and good feelings, and continue producing positive actions, they’ll feel good about themselves, the intrinsic motivation is strengthened, and students will continue producing more positive actions and exhibiting positive behaviors.
6. Always Respond With Positivity
Positivity is a key component of a positive learning environment. Interacting with students in a positive manner, exhibiting positive behaviors, and maintaining a positive attitude is one of the most important steps for creating a positive learning environment and producing successful students.
Regardless of the situation or circumstance, there is always a way to respond to and interact with students in a positive way. Teaching students how to communicate and interact with each other in a positive manner is also key to fostering a positive learning environment in the classroom. Positivity is one of the most powerful agents of change for establishing and maintaining a positive learning environment at school and in the classroom.
These are not the only strategies but the most effective ones that you might not have used or observed before, but practicing these tips will help you achieve your goals in a shorter span of time.
Now let’s pause for a word from our sponsor…
Okay, Let us address the challenges teachers and students might have during the online scene of studying. There are 6 tips I want to share.
1. Make and follow the plan
It’s a golden rule for getting things right. The more you want to get better at something, the more you think about it. Planning is the number one way to make sure that you have the time and resources to get things done. If you’re taking a live class, prepare with the video conferencing tool that you’re going to use.
Make sure that you’re comfortable with it. Prepare for events like technical glitches. If you’re planning to take an online quiz, make sure you can take those results and use it in a way that helps you assess the student performance in the future.
2. Outline your goals
Let’s face it. The world may get rid of COVID19, but online learning is here to stay. It’s become the new normal, and as a teacher, it’s important that you set your goals and expectations based on that. Think of what you want to achieve with a particular task.
Think of what you can do to make it as efficient as possible. Is there some tool that you can use to make it easier? Is it absolutely necessary that you do this today? Is there anything that you should complete today before you do this? Prioritizing your goals is a very easy and simple step to improve your efficiency, but it’s also very effective.
You’re the teacher. You teach.
It’s so easy in today’s world to lose focus. When working inside an institution, there’s bound to be some clerical tasks, non-teaching related activities, and out-of-the-class tasks that you need to do. But never forget to breathe life into your lessons. You are the teacher, first and foremost. Those students are your responsibility, and they depend on you for valuable lessons. So be the teacher you wish you had. Make the learning experience memorable. Affirming this will help you get through a lot during a busy workday. It will also help you keep the focus on the bigger picture.
3. Don’t be afraid to explore new solutions
Everything may not be obvious at the beginning. You may have to work for it. But remember, for every problem that you face, there are a million teachers out there facing the same problem. Chances are, your solutions are only a google search away.
Expand your network and field of vision over the walls of your institution. You will better answer and make new connections this way.
4. Work at home, but not all the time
All of us who can work from home are doing it. Not every teacher has the opportunity but that doesn’t make it any less relevant. Take time for yourself between classes and tasks. Spend time reflecting on your performance. Self-evaluation is always a great way to make sure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes again.
No matter how good you are at anything, doing something without a break may result in exhaustion and reduced productivity. So leave room for small breaks in your daily schedules.
5. Use a mix of learning tools for better engagement
These days, we’re fortunate to have the technology to create virtual learning environments that allow us to collaborate and engage just as well as if we were in the classroom.
As Dr Boettche says, “the variety of activities that are now possible online makes it possible to create many types of effective learning environments.”
The best online teachers use a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous activities, creating a blend of traditional online learning styles with newer, more collaborative audio and visual tools. Working with a mix of activities makes the content more interesting and exciting, increasing student engagement with both the teacher and other learners.
6. Make e-learning Content Mobile
It’s wise to acknowledge the importance of mobile learning for online teachers, with students and employees now accustomed to using their mobile devices for learning.
Mobile learning holds key advantages for learners, allowing them to access up-to-date course materials and relevant content anywhere, anytime. With bite-sized pieces of information available to be digested quickly and easily, learners can work through course materials at their own pace, assisting both performance and productivity.
Make sure your eLearning content can be easily accessed via smartphones, laptops, and iPads to maximize your teaching methods. You’ll also be demonstrating to your learners that you’re in touch with the needs of today’s modern workforce and its relevant technology.