It is very difficult to be a good teacher in this era where good service is in demand and teachers are expected to teach well. Parents want their children to do well on examinations and most of them place this huge responsibility on their child's teachers.
However, many teachers do not receive respect from their students, especially those who are below 17 years old; teachers are being treated as ‘invisible' or students even don't bother to even listen to the teacher. So how can you earn your students' respect in such a situation? You have to improve on your teaching style and technique. It is never a difficult job, as long as you are willing to change and improve your teaching.
Be energetic and dynamic in your lessons. Students like teachers who can bring the lessons alive. Students also learn better in a livelier atmosphere. Add energy into your lessons. Attract your students and make their brains start thinking. This is difficult to be achieved in a short span of time, but here are some pointers that could bring some immediate effect.
- Increase the power of your voice. Speak louder and add more variations to your tone, especially when stressing very important points of which the students must take note. Do you dare to say that you have never neglected this point? Simple, yet not much attention is paid to it, is it?
- Ask your students questions. Make them start thinking and slowly guide them to the answer. Don't belittle their intelligence. Do not ask questions that even a 3-year-old can answer it. Challenge them.
- Create participation (No, no, no. Not group work. How can you have group work when you cannot control your class fully?) This could be used to make them throw in ideas for a discussion. If your class is not yet "engineered" to be initiative, encourage them. Make your students speak.
Be responsible. No students will respect an irresponsible or lazy teacher.
- Ensure that you mark their work diligently. How would a student respect you if you do not put in effort to mark his or her work? It is best if you could return their homework and tests on the next lesson after collection. Students will have a "wow" impression of you.
- Be prepared for teaching. Know your information well beforehand and make sure you can answer the questions of your students. Teach a lesson that flows smoothly, that information you taught will flow out of your pupil's head smoothly during exams as well. If you are caught by a student's question, praise him or her and make sure that you get back with an answer as soon as possible. Impress them with your knowledge on what you are teaching.
- Be clear, specific and detailed when you teach. Do not leave your pupils in doubt or confusion.
- Do not waste your time scolding any particular group of students. This will cause you to neglect students who are willing to learn and waste their time, losing their respect as well.
Be humorous. Your pupils will find your lesson more enjoyable if it is filled with laughter and relevant jokes. It will brighten up your class. Research shows that a fun and lively class learns better, because their attention span is longer and they have their attention focused on you. Obviously a more enjoyable lesson will be much better than a plain and dull one.
Be friendly. Treat your students as friends when outside school. Don't be too formal. Build bonds with your students and learn more about them. They will feel your care and eventually give you their respect. However, do know when to draw the line. Do not worry, befriending your students will not make them lose their respect to you, instead it makes them respect you more.
Yet, you have to be strict and firm at certain times. If not, you will get bullied by your students for being too lenient and friendly. Let your pupils know that you are approachable and they need not fear when approaching you, but it is always good to instill some fear inside them. It makes it easier for you to collect their homework and is easier to control the class. It makes them listen to you.
What I mentioned in this article is actually much basic information which everyone knows, yet is frequently or almost always neglected. Often remind yourself these qualities of a 21st century teacher and apply them to your teaching. Empower them with your passion to teach, and you will definitely be worthy of respect from your students.