Six Teaching Techniques

good-teachingEach day in my tuition, I work with a mixture of children and adults of varying ages. I sometimes check what they value or like in their lessons. From their answers and my own observations, I’ve come up with what I call the Six P’s. Have a look at these ingredients for really successful teaching!

Here they are:

Power to Choose: What is this? Wherever possible, I give my students the power to choose. What do you want to draw? What size of paper? What medium? How much help? You cannot over-estimate how much they appreciate this. Every single time I ask what they like best, it is – ‘We can choose what we want to do.’

Children actually have very little power of choice, particularly in school. Their lives are bound by timetables, rules and necessity. If one can offer choice, even in small things and it is so valuable. We all operate better when we are doing what we really want to do. The wide variety of online key stage quizzes give children that chance to choose what they want to revise.

Products: This means actually finishing something and ending up with something you value. This can be a picture or an essay or just a number of exercises in a homework task. It is vital that the child finishes the session with something to be proud of. It’s the ‘I DID IT!’ factor.

Patience: Achieving the above often requires immense patience. You have to swallow your instincts to be sharp or fed up with what seems to be endless time-wasting or fooling around. It’s tough but it is the only way. Forget the way your teachers yelled at you! Bite your tongue, use persuasion and take them back to the task at hand!

Politeness: This certainly links up with Patience! I never answer the phone without apologising to the children. I never put my pencil on their work without asking permission. I have trained myself never to shout or raise my voice unless the situation is dangerous. Just because a person is a lot smaller than me does not mean they do not deserve respect. If you respect the children, they will respect themselves.

Persistence: Very hard – especially for a parent. To keep doing the same thankless times tables or spelling. To keep returning the child to the task in hand. Yet Products depend so much on Persistence. The number of times I have retrieved a crumpled painting from the waste-paper basket and sat down with the young artists to rescue it! The gains of persisting are there to be had . Each session you tick off as done is another step towards success.

Praise: No matter who else is teaching in my classes, children always come to find me and show me their work at the end. Why? They know they will get praise. They want their work to be fully acknowledged. Long ago, a school inspector once told me I praised too much – he was so wrong! There is always something you can praise in someone’s work. By praising you raise their confidence in their own abilities and confidence is the key to so much achievement in life!

If you have any other questions about education, our Knowledge Bank is the place to go. We have scores of articles, each one aimed at finding answers to specific questions asked by parents. There’s a mine of information just one click away!

happy-smilesGuest Blog by Cathy Bird

Since retiring from full-time teaching Art and English and her post as Assistant Head and Sixth Form Tutor, Cathy Bird has concentrated on her painting and now runs art courses and sessions at her own studios in Kent. She also tutors students at all levels in Literacy, Comprehension and Essay-writing. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *