Over the past 50 years, classroom instruction has changed significantly. While we still follow a set curriculum, new classroom strategies and principles are being introduced and implemented to better engage and educate our students. These new principles and strategies are complementary components of a broader approach to classroom instruction and many refer to this as transformational teaching.
Transformational teaching allows for more dynamic relationships between teachers and students. This, in turn, promotes higher levels of engagement, thus motivating students towards personal and educational growth. With this in mind, we’re going to dive deeper into the link between transformational teaching and motivating students. We’ll also share some tips on how to become a transformational teacher.
What Is Transformational Teaching?
Transformational teaching is based on the idea that a teacher’s purpose is far more than just delivering information to students. By moving from a mechanical to an organic model of teaching, educators can create lessons designed specifically for the students they’re teaching. This new school personalization leads to increased engagement and, of course, motivation.
Instead of being content-focused, transformational teaching encourages students to participate in the learning process. This form of teaching involves engaging students through discussions about real-world problems. It should also encourage problem solving and creativity. Moreover, it should give students the opportunity to express themselves emotionally, thus enhancing their social-emotional skills.
How to Become a Transformational Teacher
While the benefits of becoming a transformational teacher are clear, there are various best practices that you can learn and implement into your teaching methods in order to become one.
Care for Your Students Beyond the Classroom
Being a transformational teacher is about far more than your teaching strategy and methods. It’s about showing your students that you care about them beyond the classroom. Instead of focusing solely on the subject that you’re teaching them, get involved with extracurricular activities. This could involve watching sporting events and chaperoning trips. You should also show an interest in their social-emotional development. Take an interest in how they are acting in the classroom and with their friends and ask them how they feel if you notice a change in their behavior.
Show Students How They Can Apply What They Learn
It is normal for students to question the topics you’re teaching them. If they don’t see a way for them to use these new teachings in a real-world setting they may lose interest. With this in mind, show them how they can apply what they learn. Give them real-life examples of how they can use a specific equation or language, for example. By offering real-world examples, you can help your students better connect to their learning experience.
Learn From Your Colleagues
No matter how good a teacher you are, you can always learn from your colleagues. Invest some of your time away from the classroom observing other teachers during their lessons. Better yet, you should observe teachers who teach a different subject than the one you do. By doing so, you can learn about different teaching styles and how to implement them effectively.
Aside from making you a more effective educator, this practice will create a culture of continuous improvement in the school you work in. Developing this framework will also encourage a culture whereby ideas, expertise, and challenges are shared in a collaborative way.
Change Your Routine
Another great reason to observe other teachers is to gather new ideas in order to change the routine of your classroom. If you teach the same subject and materials each year, sticking to the same routine every time can be very dull and this can shine through in your lessons. Moreover, not every routine works for each individual group of students.
The key is to learn from as many different colleagues a possible as each of them will teach a different subject to a different group of children. During this process, take notes as to what works and what doesn’t. At Practice Makes Perfect, we know how to adapt to different classrooms and by working with a team of professionals with diverse teaching experience, you can become the transformational teacher that your students need to thrive in and outside of school.