4 ways to become a more likeable teacher

‘When one teaches, two learn’
– Robert Heinlein 

We all know teaching is a noble profession. And almost all of us, in one way or the other, owe a significant portion of our success to at least one teacher of ours. But having said all this, is it easy to be a teacher and get the best out of future generations? It depends. For any teacher to motivate his/ her students and to get the best out of them, they first need to be more likable. But, is it easy for teachers to become a favorite among their students? Though it comes naturally to some, most others find it very difficult to strike a tricky balance between being a friend to their students when they should and be a constructive critic when it is necessary. 

The behavioral aspects of students are changing fast like how we discussed in our earlier blogs. Hence it is important for teachers to keep this in mind and shape themselves to be able to connect well with students from Gen Z. In this blog, we share with you the 4 most practical ways to become a more likable teacher. 

Enhancing the emotional intelligence 

A very interesting article ‘Emotional intelligence: why it matters and how to teach it’ in The Guardian suggests that it is very important for teachers to teach students emotional intelligence aka EQ which can help them both academically and socially. We would like to take this point even further and mention that to teach youngsters the skill of EQ, teachers themselves should enhance it. 

A significant percentage of current teachers are from a generation when IQ was considered as the most desired trait. So as a result, enhancing their EQ while they were students themselves might not have gotten a huge emphasis. So, it is very important for teachers to proactively look to improve their EQ which comprises of five major components – self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, social skills, and motivation. All these five directly contribute to how effective an impact teachers can have on their students.  

Be a good listener 

While it is given that teachers should be effective speakers and storytellers to make their students listen to them, it shouldn’t be forgotten that listening is a two-way process. Listening is a very powerful tool for a teacher. According to experts, there are certain don’ts when it comes to being good listening teachers. 

The don’ts include: multitasking or easily get distracted while conversing with students, hastening conversation with students with nonverbal cues/ gestures, and constantly interrupt while a student is talking or trying to explain something to the teacher. 

On the other hand, the dos include: having an open mind and a complete focus while listening to students, allowing enough time for students to get across their opinions, using open-ended questions to get more insight of a student’s thoughts and feelings, using nonverbal cues to showcase that the teacher is interested in a conversation, and most importantly, giving empathetic responses. 

Embrace technology 

The ongoing pandemic has reminded us about how it is important for educational institutions to also offer online learning for their students. While many teachers embraced this new challenge admirably, some indeed found it difficult to adapt to the new change. Many, found it hard to keep lectures interactive online. During such junctures, embracing technology and getting to know about several tools can make online classes more interactive and immersive. For example, a simple breakout room discussion on Zoom can work wonders in making online lectures a better experience. Being tech-savvy is something that Gen Z is very good at and being a teacher who’s very good with technology would be hugely welcome by the generation. 

 

While the full-fledged face-to-face classes for students would resume once the world returns to normal again (hopefully soon), it is highly likely that a good number of educational institutions would start providing blended learning for their students. Many educationists believe that blended learning might be the way to go in the future. So at such a scenario, it would become imperative for all teachers to be tech-savvy, be up-to-date with changing times, and still be able to have a positive effect on students.  

Keep innovating 

Students – especially the Gen Z – are very open to new, creative ideas of learning and as we had discussed in the previous blogs, also easily get distracted. So a teacher, who is a creative innovator and comes up with different and more hands-on ways to teach students, can instantly become more likeable. For this, teachers should start understanding more about the Gen Z. It’s because they are considerably different to  the previous generations including millennials and Gen X. Actively learning the behavioral traits of the Gen Z and getting constant feedback from them regarding the kind of teaching they prefer could do wonders for the teachers. 

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