Secrets of Managing Equipment and Teaching Aids
When I started teaching I just used to get into the class and start teaching straight from the textbook for the whole lesson with no variation whatsoever. I used the textbooks like they were a highway code. At first, it was all good and my lessons were moving along fine, but then after a while of teaching the same group of students, I found that they began to lose interest in my lessons.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Fungai M. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
My surprising observation practice
One day I went to witness my colleague teaching and I was amazed. She used all sorts of extra equipment and teaching aids and the students were so excited and participated with enthusiasm. After the class I asked him what it was and then she explained to me the importance of managing equipment and teaching aids. After that, I try to use teaching aids whenever I can to make my lessons more interesting and hence more productive. These make the lesson less dependent on the textbook.
They help learners improve reading comprehension skills, illustrating or reinforcing a skill or concept, differentiating instruction and relieving anxiety or boredom by presenting information in a new and exciting way. Teaching aids also engage students’ other senses since there are no limits in what aids can be utilized when supplementing a lesson. Using magazine and newspaper articles, prints ads and even comic books are viable teaching aids that assist in helping students comprehend text.
Also read: Learning English in Early Childhood
How can teaching aids help?
Teaching aids prove to be a formidable supplement for teachers when the reinforcement of a skill or concept is necessary. Not only do they allow students more time to practice, but they also present the information in a way which offers students a different way to engage with the material. Using aids such as graphs, charts, flashcards, videos, provides learners with visual stimulation and the opportunity to access the content from a different vantage point. This allows each learner to interact with the content in a way which allows them to comprehend more easily. This equipment will help to make the learning environment interesting and engaging.
As we move toward a more digital society, kids are being exposed to technology and digital devices at a younger age. Video games and iPods are now what’s exciting to students, so when they come to school they have little patience for lecture-style teaching. When I used to teach at this other school in China most of the lessons were just digital and we hardly used any books. I found that this made the students look forward to the lesson more. Students are seeking constant excitement and simply have no tolerance for boredom.
Also read: 6 Exciting and Different Jobs in TEFL
Modern aids vs. outdated aids
Teaching aids are improving the quality of education in today’s schools while also providing students with a sense of excitement they desire. As traditional classrooms with blackboard and chalk become a thing of the past, and smart classrooms become the norm, teaching aids are growing in popularity and advancement. Blackboards are being replaced with white and smart boards.
TVs are being replaced with LCD projectors and screens. And educators are becoming more focused on students growing with technology and integrating it into the curriculum. However, it is important to note that even though these aids can greatly help a lesson they can also hinder learning if they are overused or not used properly.
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It is up to the teacher to find a balance on how and when to use these to get the maximum benefit from them. If used in this way they can be like an assistant teacher and give so much to the lesson.
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