Teaching Strategies: Tips to Help Your Students Prepare for Life

teaching strategies

Introduction 

Anyone who’s managed a classroom full of students for even a single semester knows how challenging the endless stream of academic and logistical demands can be. After all, that’s why they say teaching is a calling, isn’t it? It’s not for the weak of heart. It requires passion and commitment. 

Even for those teachers who can thrive under all of the pressure, though, challenges still arise on occasion. One of those is finding the time and energy to go above and beyond the curriculum in order to purposefully invest in your students with the express aim of preparing them for life outside of the classroom. 

Remember, educators are often amongst the most intimate and invested people students have throughout a significant portion of their lives. This means often it falls to the teachers to equip them with the life skills that will help them through college and the adult life that awaits beyond it. 

Here are a few tips and suggestions to help encourage and equip you, as a teacher, to prepare your students not just academically, but also for the real-world decisions they’ll eventually be making on their own. teaching strategies

Individuality is Key 

Each student is different. While the classroom can be a difficult place for individuality to shine, it’s the teachers’ responsibility to make an effort to draw that individuality out of their students. 

Help them to discover who they are, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and learn how to operate and function in society as themselves.

This can be done simply by making an effort to use active listening when they speak and to always talk to them in a conversational tone rather than as an educational autocrat. This helps to make yourself approachable and allows you to meet each student on their own turf.

Teach Your Students to Think On Their Own 

One of the best things about guiding children and young adults through their early education is the ability to watch them learn to think for themselves. But this doesn’t always come naturally, which is why it’s important to make an effort to help your students develop that all-important skill set. teaching strategies

Of course, this must be done in an encouraging way that doesn’t just shut them down. One simple way to help your students to think for themselves is to stay by their side in a show of support all the while encouraging them to find the solution to a problem.

Rather than simply showing them an answer, walk them through the process of finding it themselves. The ability to think critically and find solutions on their own is an extremely valuable one that will continue to yield dividends throughout life. teaching strategies

Foster a Love of Learning

It was Gandhi who said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” And yet, far too many students pack up their bags on the last day of high school with a sincere desire to avoid learning at all costs in the future.

It falls to teachers to help foster that all-important love of learning in each student who passes through their doors. This can be done by focusing on the journey, the experience, and the passions of each subject rather than just “teaching to the test.” For example, you can get hands-on with your history lessons by building a timeline as a visual or going to a local living history museum rather than simply reading and memorizing textbook information. 

The point is, be willing to deviate from a preset course or curriculum in order to pursue a topic that the class is passionate about, or even simply to spice things up and encourage your children to invest themselves in a subject. The resulting genuine interest in learning on their part is well worth the deviation. teaching strategies

Teach Flexible Reading 

The college workload can be a bit overwhelming for students who have been given no idea what to expect. That’s why it’s important to teach your students about flexible reading.

The ability to read in a slow, studious manner, a quick skimming style, or to simply scan as you search for specific information is a critical skill for both college and the careers that will follow. 

Grease the Wheels

High-minded concepts like teaching students to love learning and be able to think on their own are critical ways to prepare them for life. But it’s important not to lose sight of the more mundane, logistical end of things as well. teaching strategies

Teachers should take time to help show their students how college can be different from the high school experience, explaining things like how credits work or the difference between applying for federal and private student loans.

Teach Financial Literacy

Finally, it behooves teachers to take time to teach their students to be financially literate. Things like frugality, thoughtful spending, how to budget, etc. can all be extremely valuable throughout life in college and beyond. 

Demonstrate the difference in costs between shopping at the grocery store and eating out on a regular basis. Explain the pros and cons of a used car versus a new car. Have them practice creating their own budgets and encourage them to look for used textbooks or even to simply rent them in order to save money. teaching strategies

Conclusion

While most teachers already have their hands full with academic pursuits, taking time to prepare students for life outside of the classroom isn’t just helpful, it’s crucial. After all, what good is a thorough knowledge of mathematics or grammar if a student doesn’t understand how to balance a checkbook, track their own expenses, or come up with a solution to a problem on their own? 

Taking the time to equip your students to survive and thrive on their own is a responsibility that all educators should take seriously. From teaching things like a lifelong love of learning and how to think on their own to basic skills like budgeting and financial literacy, teachers should be taking time to prepare their students for life in every way possible.

About the Author

Adrian Johansen writes both to teach and learn.

You can find more of her writing on Contently and Twitter.

Photo Acknowledgement:  The source of the 3 photos appearing in the body of this post was Pixabay.



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