Most teachers start their academic career without prior teaching instruction. It is normal to make mistakes because of this. As time passes, the best teachers learn what they have to do and what should never be done. Unfortunately, some teaching mistakes can be quite bad, hindering the entire education process. Stephen Buzzi highlights some of the common teaching mistakes everyone should avoid.
Immediately Calling For Volunteers After Asking Questions
If you do this most students will avoid eye contact and just some end up often volunteering. Alternatively, you end up answering the question. There are few students that will even bother thinking about the question you ask. They know that another person is going to answer. It is always better to use active learning. Ask that question and offer a short time for an answer. Work in various groups or individually. After the time is over, ask for the answer.
So many instructors now use PowerPoint and end up spending a lot of the class time moving through slides. What they do not know is that these are classes that do not work. Students do not have paper copies so they cannot really keep up. When they have a copy it is easy to read slides faster than teachers can lecture. In this case the class is boring. Also, there is not much incentive for the student to even show up.
Lack Of Instruction Variety
You do not get much learning when faced with nonstop lecturing. However, if the instructor does not lecture, students cannot be taught, right? One idea is to always keep things varied. You do not want to overuse PowerPoint but the lecture without visual aid also does not work.
The best classes are those that offer variety. Mix up your teaching methods so you can come up with what works best for your students. Keep them interested by simply adding variety to your classes.
Lack Of Individual Accountability When Working In Groups
Another really common mistake is to have your students work in a group and grade them all the same, without a focus on the individual. In most situations we see just one or two of the students actually doing the work. The rest simply do not understand anything or care about what is done. The best way to make the entire group work is through cooperative learning. This is a highly researched teaching method that does promote development for interpersonal and cognitive skills. Individual accountability will help students actually learn.
Really Long Tests
There are so many schools and universities that give really long exams. Even the students that can work fast enough end up making mistakes because they get stressed. When exams are often long, students can end up switching over to other curricula or just drop from school. Also, long tests do not actually show you how good the student is. This is because sometimes really good students are just slow, even if their knowledge is really high. Try to balance tests and make them accessible, with plenty of time for problem-solving.