Tips To Be a Better Adult Teacher!
We’ve talked about how to teach adults, the adult learning theory, and how you can gain confidence in teaching. However, we’ve not talked about becoming a better adult teacher! Not only do you have to have the Education and Training qualifications, but you have to be passionate! Experience goes a long way too as do the soft skills you learn as you go through life.
As a teacher, trainer or assessor, you will be teaching adults. So we’ve compiled a list of tips for becoming a better adult teacher!
Learn for yourself
We’d say the first thing to do to become a better teacher is learn for yourself. The more you know about your subject area the better you can be at teaching. Knowing your subject inside out will make you more confident about teaching. You can’t steer your students in the wrong direction if you’re up to date and have vast knowledge and experience.
This goes hand in hand with learning for yourself. Having an inquisitive and open mind about things will make you a better teacher. Take an active interest in what sparks curiosity in yourself and your learners. Have open communication for learners to ask questions. Maybe they’ve asked something you don’t know, you can find the answers together.
Be open to all views
As a teacher, there will be times when your classroom will be diverse and there’ll be many different learners. To be a great teacher you have to be open to all kinds of students. Try not to cling hard to your beliefs. Each learner will have their way of understanding what you’re teaching. However, to be a better teacher you have to start to understand how your students learn.
Diversity and inclusion are extremely important, as we’ve touched upon that in a few blogs already. Students want to know they have a safe space to open up and to be comfortable, regardless of if they’re adults. Squashing any biases you may have will start to make you a better teacher.
Having patience is one of the main attributes to have as a teacher. As we’ve touched upon, teaching adults is not the same as younger students. Adult students are keen to learn. However, having patience is important. They might not understand the subject because they learn differently. You have to have the patience to help them learn the subject matter in different ways.
Understand your learners
To understand your learners you have to know how they learn. We’ve talked about learning styles before. Understand each learning style and know which ones your learners use. Are they more visual learners? Do they find pictures and images more useful? Are they verbal learners? Is spoken or written word better for them? Take the time out to find out. As a result, it’ll make you a better teacher because you can tailor lessons or 1-to-1s for that individual. It will work out in the long run, because they’ll feel better coming to you about things. After all, you understand them.
Use multiple avenues of teaching
Don’t just rely on the everyday boring lectures. Yes, sometimes they’re good, but using them constantly can be boring for the learner. Maybe think about using different avenues to teach? Try and challenge your learners, it will make learning more interesting for them. As adults don’t learn the same as children, don’t treat them as such. Maybe consider your lessons a bit. Make sure you’re not teaching adults like children.
As we mentioned previously, having passion is fundamental to being a great teacher! Teachers who love teaching certainly excel in what they do, because they care about the education of the learner. Furthermore, they have a passion. They love the area in which they teach and they want to shape others’ minds. That’s important to be a great teacher.
Inspire your students
Great adult teachers can not only teach well, but they inspire their students. They get their learners interested in the subject. As a result, they take the effort to learn from them. They don’t disregard what they say and take every additional comment and thought into account. It’s important to inspire your own learners, because how will they want to learn from someone who doesn’t get them interested in the content?
If you follow these tips there’s no doubt you could be a better adult teacher! Remember to take it upon yourself to learn about your students and learn for yourself! There will always be something new to learn. CPD for teachers is massively important also!