If you work in the world of higher education then you know that your job role extends beyond simply teaching a syllabus. You have a duty to help young people (or older people, in the case of mature students) to gain the necessary skills to succeed in life. Essentially, you’re helping young people to enter the “real” world and make something of themselves. That’s no easy task, despite what some people say about teaching being straightforward. And if you want to make sure that you do your best as an educator in the modern world then this guide should give you some pointers.
Teach them to think outside the box.
These days, going to university isn’t quite as extraordinary as it used to be. Increasing numbers of young people make the decision to pursue university education after sixth form. People are no longer going to stand out in the job market simply by having a degree. The best way to make sure your students separate themselves from the crowd is for them to… well, separate themselves from the crowd. University is an opportunity to think outside the box. It’s an opportunity to try new things and gain new skills that’ll prove useful in the stages that come after graduation. You need to teach them to expect more of themselves.
Obviously, you can’t do everything for every single student. The whole point of university is that it’s a learning curve. Your students have to learn to do things independently, but you have to guide them to that realisation. Give the minimum reading requirements, but suggest that they read beyond your requirements. Encourage them to come up with their own talking points in essays (if at all possible in the type of subject you teach). And you could start thinking outside the box too. Maybe you could look into trips for college students. Travelling is an opportunity to teach your classes in a more vibrant and engaging manner than is possible in a classroom. You need to help your students to expand their minds. Get them to do more than the bare minimum. They need to learn to think independently if they want to be successful in the world that comes after university.
Be a better teacher.
There’s always more you could be doing to learn and grow in your profession. If you want to help students succeed in the modern day then you have to be a modern teacher. In other words, you need to keep learning to make sure that your knowledge is up to date. The world moves forward, so your lessons need to move at the same pace. Otherwise, you’ll be giving your students knowledge that isn’t going to help them in the real world. After all, if you’re teaching them things that are already old then they’ll be even further behind when they graduate in a few years. If you want to be a better teacher then keep learning. Make sure you’re giving every single student the tools they need to succeed. Beyond that, it’s up to them.