Oct 2019

Here’s How Successful Physics Teachers Engage Their Students

October 24, 2019

Have you ever wondered why some teachers produce better students? Even with the same resources and the same subject topics, a teacher can make the difference between a class of excelling students and a class of disinterested students.

The difference is in the way they teach and engage their class. Passionate teachers will know that the rewards of teaching come when students are able to learn and enjoy what they are doing. Hence, these teachers will put in the extra effort to make lessons come alive.

Some common qualities and strategies exist across the most brilliant and effective teachers. If you are looking for a new A Level Physics tuition class or Physics tuition for Sec 3 and 4 students, it may help to look out for these qualities in the tutor you find.

They inspire confidence

Many students who turn up for tuition are those who are having some trouble with the subject. This often results in them feeling discouraged, and they may even develop a dislike for the subject. These students are usually reluctant to participate due to the fear of embarrassing themselves when they make a mistake. To help them, a good teacher will be gentle and patient with them, assuring them that mistakes are part and parcel of learning. Through encouragement and affirmation, they build a class atmosphere where students are unafraid to try. Teachers should also explain concepts in a manner that is easily digestible, so that students can find themselves grasping the concepts, and build up their confidence bit by bit.

They build up thinking skills 

A lot of tutors work by drilling their students with practice questions and answer sheets. However, a true teacher would ensure that the students understand the concepts before embarking on practice papers. A good teacher will not feed students all the answers, but instead, guide them along on the thought process and help them arrive at the solution themselves. This promotes independent thinking and learning, and helps students tackle more sophisticated questions.

They make learning fun

It shows in their teaching when teachers are genuinely excited about the subject they teach. They speak in a way that infects students with fascination towards the subject. In addition, they find all means and ways to make the lesson more interesting and relevant to their students. Many topics in Physics are best understood through real-life demonstrations. Thus, a dedicated Physics teacher may bring in props like a toy train to demonstrate laws of motion. Some teachers also make use of funny mnemonics to help students remember theories better. Exciting and relevant lessons help students remember better and find more meaning in what they learn.

They pace their lessons

If students are at tuition class because they cannot catch up in their school classes, a tutor’s job is to slow down and make sure no one gets left behind. It would not be good to speed through to the next topic if a student has not yet grasped the concepts in the previous topic. A great teacher will allow students time to internalise the topics, check their understanding through practice questions, and then review the concepts again before moving on. In the case a student or two are still struggling, there should be avenues for them to raise their questions or receive further help in a review session or one-on-one consultation.

They try to understand the problem

To solve a problem, you need to know what the problem is. For a tuition teacher, they cannot teach blindly and hope that all students will learn effectively. Instead, experienced tutors will observe and talk to their students to understand their struggles and goals, so that the tutor can adjust the lessons to suit their needs. For example, if the students’ issues are in understanding the mathematical formulae, the teacher will focus more on explaining the concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. But if the issue is one of a lack of motivation, the tutor needs to put in more effort to engage the student and encourage them.

There is more to a successful teacher than one who is an expert in their field of study. An excellent teacher is committed to helping students holistically – not just in boosting their grades but also in instilling a love for learning. If you can find a teacher like that to help you, you are in luck. Grab the chance and don’t look back!

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