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How the Best Teachers Handle Difficult Subject Matter

Even under the most ideal of circumstances, teaching can prove a tough task. Indeed, no two students –– let alone classes –– are the same, and teachers are required to display a high-level of commitment that often goes well beyond school hours. However, there are certain classes and subjects that are notoriously challenging –– for both students and teachers alike. If you’ve reached that point in the semester where you’re running out of ideas and your class is struggling, then consider implementing one or more of these methods. It just could help you get through that irksome rough patch in the schedule:

Refresh and Review

Sometimes in school, as in life, you need to go bbackwardsto go forward. Consider reviewing previous lessons if you’re having trouble making headway on new material. This is especially apt if you’re resuming class after a break in the winter or spring. It may take a little extra time, but a refresher course could help put your charges back on the right track.

Define Everything

The more abstruse and confusing the subject you’re teaching, the more care you have to take not to omit information or cut corners. Though it may be tempting to try and skip past certain terms or concepts, it will likely end up wasting you more time than saving it. Whether you need to demonstrate how 8-tube strips work or explain iambic pentameter, make sure to answer every question your class may have. Anticipating potential problem areas can help you address issues before they arise.

Encourage Collaboration

Students learn best when they’re engaged in the material. That much is obvious. But if you want to nurture your students’ interest and inspire creativity you need to get your pupils moving, talking, and thinking on their own. Step down from the podium, walk away from the chalkboard for a minute, and let your students tell you what they think. Simply opening your room up to discussion can prove massively beneficial to freeing up the academic logjam.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

The best professionals in any field know when they’re overmatched. If you’ve spent days trying to hammer home a point that just isn’t landing, ask a fellow teacher for advice. Additionally, you can even reach out to an expert outside the confines of the school to speak to your class. Occasionally students need to hear a new voice to understand a lesson thoroughly. Remember, even the most adept teachers run into trouble from time to time. So don’t feel inadequate when asking for assistance; because one day you may be able to return the favor.

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