Teaching in effective ways
| Mzia Beradze - 16 Dec 2022

In this column I would like to share thoughts and attitude towards the basic rules to be a great professional as a teacher.  To be an impactful teacher means being seen as respected partners in the learning process. The most important question to ask oneself is -  what are this learner’s needs? Then, the teacher ought to do everything in his power to meet the learners needs. The key to any teacher’s success is hidden in the answer to this question. It is difficult to boil teaching down to a simple recipe, but there are five basic rules that will ensure success. During lessons a teach should always remember to start small, support every learner, accept every question, connect with students, and know that a teacher can only do so much.

From the beginning, teachers need to start with small pieces in order to achieve the goals of the lesson.  In this stage it is crucial to keep in mind the learners’ abilities. For example, when learning to read, a student can’t start with a complicated text. The teacher must choose materials by considering the knowledge level of each language learner. After this, the goals and sub-goals will be clear for each learner. The teacher must meet each student at their level in order to continue building on that base. This takes more time, but remember – the teaching process is a marathon, not a sprint.

Whether their answer is correct or not, teachers should encourage their students’ ideas. They should always look for a chance to offer positive reinforcement and support when assessing or correcting learners. This positive feedback helps learners to develop their independent learning and critical thinking skills. One effective way to provide this safe learning environment is through project base learning. The perfect learning atmosphere for them occurs where they are both learning and teaching others. Project based learning can help learners increase their degree of independence and become more experienced. This is an easy way to integrate non formal education tactics into a formal setting and encourage the learners’ independence.

It is important for a teacher to treat every questions as valuable. To ensure such an environment, the teacher can tell them: “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask”. Good learners tend to have to have at least some clarifying questions because CCQs (Concept Checking Questions) are a good indicator of how well the learner processes the topic. In addition to this, requiring some questions can prevent learners’ lack of curiosity. If a teacher cannot make learners curious, he ought to find a new teaching style. There are different skill levels of teachers. Ordinary teachers seek compliance, good teachers seek engagement, and great teachers seek curiosity and teach without any obligation. All teachers should strive for curiosity in their students.

A big challenge for teachers is connecting with students. Connect with students both through your teaching and in lieu of your teaching by being unpredictable and fun. Beginning class with a bang – a crazy idea, an interesting story, a funny joke, or a great song - will help students feel free and easy. All of these will make students feel relaxed and on equal footing with the teacher. Most importantly, do not hide a natural smile or a happy heart, and share positive emotions whenever you have an ability to do so -  in the school yard, on the stairs, in the classroom, and so on. If he can make his learner smile, half the battle is won and he can teach them anything.

Finally, do not forget that teachers are not superman. Remember that there are negative aspects of the education system and you can only control what’s inside your classroom. Rather than mere academic progress, knowledge gained should result in personal and societal change for each learner and community. Society can build schools full of great teachers and valuable resources, but if they send students home with no hope for the future – home to communities full of poverty, racism, intolerance, greed, waste, and apathy – then the community has failed students. Teachers have no control over this. The most a teacher can do is to equip the learners with social skills and awareness of issues. These large problems will be solved over a long term period. They are time consuming goals that cannot be solved by one teacher alone. A teacher’s job is not fix every problem now, but to prepare future leaders.

In order to share my experience, I would like to introduce my two main projects which have done by me my students. For two years, my school has been collaborated with the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps projects were new blood for my students’ everyday life; they got involved in workshops, a learning club called “Khidari English incubator” and English Summer Camps to provide a well-rounded education.

Additionally, I do my best to teach my students to be independent and think critically towards other people and develop their role in society. For this reason, I created a “Kindergarten Teaching Program”. The purpose of this program is to enrich kindergarten students with the fundamentals of English before they arrive in primary school. The secondary purpose of this program is to teach leadership and planning to school students in 7th – 12th grades. The students are responsible for planning lessons and teaching the kindergarteners. With this project, students develop leadership skills and responsibility, as well as become aware of their unique abilities that can be used to serve their community.

I am Mzia Beradze from Georgia. I have been teaching English as a second language in Kharagauli. I live in Khidari, an ancient village in Georgia which has rich history and generous people. It is surrounded by high mountains and has two marvelous churches.

 My school helps inhabitants to get a basic education and have a connection with the world. That is why I easily decided to become a teacher when I was still a child. It is quite challenging to be a transmitter of news in education technologies to a very traditional people. I can proudly say that I keep up to date with new teaching methods. For me, as a teacher, learning is an endless process. I am going to get a PhD in education sciences. Also, I am getting ready for CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) courses to be a worldwide teacher.


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