Four key stones in teaching any subject

Teaching effectively is important for learning. Learning effectively is important for teaching. How then do we teach? And how do we learn? Here are seven keystones in teaching and learning any subject. A key stone is a crucial or central stone in an archway. Without a key stone the whole arch would collapse. In a similar way, these four points are keystones in teaching and learning. Without them teaching and learning would not happen effectively.

Choose to learn and to teach.Learning and teaching happens best when people choose to learn and choose to teach. Speak about this to students and teachers, encouraging the both to “choose to learn.”  As the educator, ask yourself the question, “do I choose to teach this subject.” If the answer is no, then you should probably look at teaching something else. If it is yes then got for it.

Build a no fear culture in the classroom.Create a culture, in the classroom, of no fear. Speak about and practice this keystone. Empower students to learn with no fear of failure, punishment or disappointment. The teacher to must also work in and benefit from a culture of no fear. This can be hard difficult environments – but should be something aimed for. One practical way of implementing this is to have a monthly input in the classroom on this topic.

Build friendships while teaching and learning.Build meaningful friendships in the class and with the class by having fun and talking about life. One practical way of implementing this is to have a once a month fun game with the class or weekly life story telling ten minutes from the teacher. Through sharing life stories, photographs, videos, etc. The pupils will get to know the teacher and a friendship will grow.

Be OK with experimenting and failure while aiming for mastery.The final key stone is, as critical as the others. One colossal failure done by most educational institutions and educators is the tendency to move from topic to topic without being sure that pupils have mastered the previous topic. This creates massive gaps in the students thinking. In the same breath I say that the same can be said of the educators themselves. What is a better approach is to allow the students (and teachers) the time to experiment and fail while they are figuring out each concept but wait until they master the topic until moving onto the next topic. This can obviously be time consuming – this is where homework and classroom teaching is critical. Teach pupils to stay on one idea until they master it.