Research in education is a growing field. From that research come new ideas and insights on how to improve teaching technique. There are some easy ways to improve your own teaching techniques that require only a little bit of effort.
- Read the research. There are many educational organizations that produce websites, newsletters, and articles with the current educational research and techniques. Some are free to subscribe to, while others require a membership or ordering fee. Knowing the current trends can give you ideas on how to implement them in your classroom.
- Take a class. Most states require continuing education credits to renew your teaching certificate anyway, so why not find some classes that teach new techniques? Check with your local community college or university to see if there are any workshops in your area.
- Observe your colleagues. Collaboration is invaluable to today's teacher. Take time to go and observe your colleagues teach a lesson. Take notes about what you notice and then figure out how you can integrate those ideas into your own teaching style. Sometimes even the smallest nuances can make a big difference. Ask trusted colleagues to observe you as well. You may not realize you are doing something that they can catch. Be open to constructive criticism and do not be offensive.
- Don't be afraid to try something new. Becoming an expert can only happen with time, practice, and sometimes risk taking. If it doesn't work, reflect on it and figure out what went wrong. Try it again with the appropriate changes and then decide if it is right for you or if you should try something different.
- Suggest to your administration that improving teaching technique be examined at teacher in-services. In-service workshops are designed to make you a better teacher. If you need to improve your technique, suggest that this be one of the topics the entire staff works on during the year. There are no perfect teachers and the entire faculty will benefit from such a training exercise.
Being an effective teacher is a goal worth working toward. Wanting to improve technique is a great first step to achieving that goal.