What is the most useful thing you have learned about the teaching process? What would be your ‘top tips’ to others? [Responses from 70 school librarians surveyed by Netskills in 2007] To introduce an element of fun into training. Happy people are more likely to learn plan your activities be flexible – if it doesn’t work ditch it try not to do too much in one session review your session and adapt it some classes respond differently to others learners need to be involved and engaged with the learning process 1. Make the skill you are trying to teach relevant to the students at their point of need. . Don’t underestimate the power of “”modelling”” a process. keep trying – don’t give up be strong be assertive stay calm be helpful and work as part of a team It’s not as difficult as some teachers make it look! Manageable bites – do not attempt to serve the whole in one ‘IT’. Fairness & honesty – sounds woolly but children spot a phony immediately. Also – we are here to educate not be their next best friend. Consistency – links with the above. Sense of humour! Teaching starts with the learner – they need to be engaged and understand what they are being offered is relevant and useful.
Sessions need to be clearly structured in small steps so the learner can succeed and build confidence. Don’t try to pack too much into one session – it’s much better to cover the information carefully and allow time to recap at the end. Be well prepared Know your subject matter inside out Be able to ad lib if necessary Look at the broader aspects of the Curriculum including assessment. Education is our market so get involved with academic staff and what they do. With young people activities always take much longer to deliver than you expect.
You need to be able to make learning available in different ways – some people will respond to a hands on approach – others want everything in handouts to be able to refer back to – and others want demonstrations. Being flexible and not making people feel unsuccessful if they take a long time to learn something new or need to repeat activities is very important in helping people to learn. – not to try to do / teach too much at any time – that children have different ways of leaning so to make any input as varied as possible.
Willingness to learn, make mistakes, review and revise, collaborate well with school staff and sustain motivation and a professional image seem to be very important. That people learn in different ways, and that you need to think about this when presenting materials – sometimes you can present the most important details more than once, using approaches to suit different learning styles (eg in a presentation, in a quiz, and in a handout) Try to forget how you might be teaching and to concentrate on what they are learning. Focus on 1 thing at a time, just because you don’t get them for long, don’t try to cram in everything possible.
Have your 2/3 learning objectives spelled out at beginning (tell them what they are going to learn, teach it and then check understanding) Make sure that the information is accurate and appropriate to the level of the learner Try to make it as multi-sensory as possible to stop them getting bored – keep it short and useful Give handouts to assist further development Always check your timing is realistic and plan the lesson well Be aware of different styles of learning. Use the same structure for planning lessons as the teaching staff. Have a plan B in case of IT failure, over/underrunning time.
Make it as relevant as you can, spend as much time as possible with the students so you know exactly what they are trying to research and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Try to meet as many learning styles as you can. Observe and learn from teachers in the classroom and follow same strategies and techniques e. g Starter activities Main body Clear aims and objectives Plenary Take account of different learning styles Mindmapping Differentiated work Listen. Don’t expect everyone to understand first time. Pace yourself Change the way you present information eg practical, etc
The different ways in which children learn and the necessity to pitch lessons across a range of abilities. To listen and respond positively, encouraging rather than demoralising. Different people learn in different ways. Include a variety of strategies in each lesson. Make the content relevant to the context. Plan what you’re going to do but be flexible enough to go with the flow. You need to understand your audience. Keep it SMARTER make it fun! Develop your own style of presentation and learn behaviour management “Remember that the members of any class will have a mixture of preferred learning styles-make sure there is variety.
Do not be too dominated by your own preferred style Be well prepared, lack of organisation will show Have more material than you need: make sure there are extension activities available Make sure your audience think you are prepared to listen to them as well as teach them I used to be very concerned not to appear to patronise HE students and at first, tended to expect too much from them-then I discovered that actually they respond well to simple presentations with graphics etc, So, my advice would be: ‘Pitch your lesson to be simple and accessible, then differentiate the assessment challenge to the level(s) of ability/student expectation’.
This works in school just as it did in HE Skills that have proved most useful have been to vary pace and delivery style. I would offer these ideas as top tips: Use the three part lesson – a clear opening giving objectives, body of what you want to convey and then a plenary to ensure the main points have been absorbed. Vary your delivery method and types of support material to address the different learning styles. Encourage student questioning at higher levels to improve their learning processes. Allow peer teaching to take place between the students – great way to cascade new knowledge.
Use student evaluation to improve the lessons. Ask teachers for advice on planning activities, try and get to meetings on secondary strategy, etc Be flexible – what works with one class may not work with another. It is a waste of time telling students what they don’t need to know at that time. You need to consider the different ways in which people learn and structure your teaching accordingly in order to ensure that as many people as possible benefit from your session. Students need to ‘have a go’ themselves to make learning more relevant. Teaching is a two way process. planning is key ind out what students know beforehand/build on prior knowledge connect the learning cater for variety of learning styles focus on process as much if not more than content develop learner attributes allow time for practice/reflection on learning teach skills in relevant context offer extension activities for G and differentiate carefully for individual learning needs look confident even if you’re not! You never stop learning. More teachers should know this, but they don’t. Be aware of the level of work involved in teaching, especially creating classwork and assessment. Aim low – whoever you are teaching. Keep calm
Be well prepared Keep it simple Try out any worksheets yourself to make sure they can be completed in the time available. Have extension activities ready for the more able who will finish early. Keep instructions/worksheets simple – too much text is a turn-off. Be aware of different learning styles – you’ll naturally write things to suit your own style but not everyone learns the way you do! ” Listen. Be well prepared. Continually assess if the pupils are understanding as you deliver the lesson. Preparation of materials [sometimes differentiated] is key and the willingness to be flexible and adapt materials as necessary.
Be aware of your timing Match the activity/material(s) to the ability/age of the students” Keep it informal and use their individual interests to garner enthusiasm Different presentation styles for different audiences Don’t talk too much Active participation of audience Know your audience’s ability – don’t use jargon they can’t understand, don’t patronise Think about different styles of presenting information – don’t overuse PowerPoint. Be prepared to repeat yourself and back up the information you give in many different formats and on many occasions.
Be passionate about what you are doing – students soon pick up if you are bored with the subject yourself. Be prepared to adapt to change within your organisation. Keep an open mind and be prepared to adapt the ways you can teach library inductions, information literacy and support whole school literacy in line with your school’s priorities. Creativity is key! Be well prepared. It’ll always take longer than you think. Never show fear! I have found observing, associating and learning from teachers (and sometimes their mistakes! ) has been the key element in the growth of my own understanding of teaching.
It’s an ongoing learning process! Ask for help/ advice/ support from sympathetic teaching colleagues &/ or Staff Development Coordinator. Starting in a new school – ask to shadow a form for a day & ask to follow up with occasional lesson observations of teachers with different teaching styles (& different year groups). Planning and preparation are key. Ensure you know what equipment you need before the lesson starts and that it works; arrange furniture in a way that you want it. Ensure that you know what outcomes you want from your lesson and how you are going to achieve them.
Make sure that all pupils are involved. Don’t just talk but make sure that each lesson has variety within it – questions and answers, worksheets etc. Ensure that you sum-up what you have covered at the end of the lesson. Make everything that you talk about relevant to the pupils. Teaching comes in a variety of formats and styles differ enormously among teachers. It is more difficult than we think and easier than teachers make us believe. Teaching is changing constantly. Listen to and learn from the children you teach. Teachers are learners themselves and good teachers know this.
With their unique set of skills, most librarians would be very able to complete an equivalent to a PGCE. Be confident, assertive and fair. Be well prepared – plan effectively. Relax – pupils smell fear. Include variety in the lesson, don’t talk for too long – pupil attention ps are limited. Liaise with teaching staff. be ahead of all requests – if possible. Be concise, but pertinent. patience! I was totally thrown in at the deep end in my first job as I was expected to teach with no training what-so-ever AND my teaching was OFSTED inspected that year (although I did point out to the inspector that I wasn’t a teacher. Over the last 9 years I have taught myself by reading and watching other staff. I have written my own lesson plans and schemes of work. In my current role I am teaching a lot of IT and would like to train to be an IT teacher but can’t afford to have the time off work to do the teaching practice. It would be nice to have some teaching qualification for school librarians taking this into consideration. Find an ally on the teaching staff and ask for help. Be prepared to ask for and accept guidance. Have a number of areas in the curriculum where you think teaching of research skills can be integrated and explain with a lesson plan.
Have to be flexible. Teachers think on their feet! Need to have various ways of explaining- not all pupils learn in the same way. Use the same methods as teachers in your school: class line up outside, take register, require silence before speaking, students seated boy-girl. Adapt to how your school does these things. Vary methods – do not expect students to be able to sit still for a long time. Use music, get students to move around, use competition between groups of students, engage children with controlled use of ICT and encourage multi-media. Act like a member of teaching staff using school behaviour policy.
Have high expectations of students in terms of their learning and behaviour. Get feedback from students and teachers and use this to improve your sessions for the next time. Learn from other librarians and share things that work. To teach something pupils actually want to learn, or show them how useful it will be to know more about the topic. With regards to library skills it should be within a course that teaches information skills, as that is essential. Adapting material to individual needs. Also using a variety of methods, particularly ‘hands-on’ or kinaesthetic activities.