Increasing Teacher Confidence: The Importance of Adaptability
Teaching is a challenging profession. As an educator, you’re expected to keep multiple plates spinning on a consistent basis. Since the landscape of the classroom is ever-changing, these plates can be difficult to keep from shattering, and if one falls, more may follow. This is completely natural. However, as more things are thrown at you, it’s how you react to these changes that determines your longevity as a teacher. With the new technologies, diverse student populations, and shifting curriculums, it may seem like a lot to get under control.
Adapting to technological change
Fortunately, with support and guidance, these changes are entirely manageable. After all, change should be welcomed, not resisted, as it paves the way for exciting innovations and new methods of teaching that will benefit children for years to come. Robotics, for example, may seem quite intimidating for teachers who aren’t particularly confident with technology. Coding and programming also fall in this category.
With many schools turning into ‘Google Schools’, there has even been resistance against the use of this efficient system, simply because of a lack of confidence with technology. Now, once confidence is bolstered and educators soak in these areas, the benefits become clear. From quality of life improvements to dynamic teaching strategies for a range of ages and abilities, technology is here to stay, and for good reason.
Staying up to date
Teachers who align themselves with what’s current and relevant will feel much more confident in the face of any changes. Having basic knowledge of the new technologies and innovative teaching methods that are emerging will put you ahead of the curve. Fortunately, educators are expected to adapt. If a student spills a drink over their workbook, if a wasp enters the classroom putting children into a panicked frenzy, if half of the class aren’t understanding the learning content, requiring you to approach it from a different angle - there are endless possibilities that could happen in a teacher’s daily life requiring some form of adaptation.
This should be true on the macro scale as well. For instance, if robotics is introduced as a subject that teachers are required to deliver, this may seem intimidating. Many teachers might have limited experience - or none at all - with technology of this calibre. As a result, a fixed mindset could settle in, causing teachers to shy away from engaging with the subject in a significant way. Having an open mind toward change is vital here. By dedicating some time to learning about areas such as coding, programming, and robotics, confidence will be reinforced. Teachers who are proactive will even be able to offer advice to their colleagues who may be struggling.
Keeping up with a turbulent curriculum
Navigating the ever-changing curriculum may seem like a near-impossible task at times. With new standards and expectations being introduced regularly, teachers must be able to adapt their teaching methods and materials to align with these changes. This can be challenging, but an adaptable teacher is able to stay current and personalise the content to fit their own style. Once the curriculum has been melded into the shape of something that’s more personal to you, confidence will follow.
Account for all types of learning styles and abilities
Throughout a teacher’s career, a diverse range of needs and learning styles will be at the forefront of their priorities. Being able to respond to these needs effectively demonstrates adaptability. In any classroom, there will be a wide range of students with different learning styles, backgrounds, and abilities. A teacher who is adaptable can quickly and easily adjust their teaching methods to meet the needs of all of their students, rather than just those who learn in a traditional way.
This can lead to improved student engagement and better outcomes for everyone, including the teacher. Once you have accounted for a variety of needs, you’ll be more confident to approach any future problems centred around accessibility. An effective way to deliver accessible lessons that are fun, exciting, and fully engaging, is through the use of robotics. Robotical, for example, is a leading STEM resource that can be found in over one-thousand schools across the globe. Children of all abilities can interact with the robot ‘Marty’ in an engaging way.
As students are able to experiment with Marty by themselves, they can make the robot walk, turn, dance, kick and ball, and more. Teaching is about adapting to find modern, innovative ways to cultivate skills such as creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking. It’s an added bonus that robotics also strengthens coding and programming skills, which could prove valuable for future work prospects.
Embracing changes to enhance teaching and learning
During the pandemic, the need to adapt as a teacher was a necessity. The world of education was flipped on its head, requiring schools to quickly come up with solutions that would ensure children still received meaningful lessons remotely. A number of changes were made in every aspect. And many of these changes have remained in many schools, such as:
- Moving staff meetings online to increase collaboration regardless of location.
- Introduce an online learning environment that allows resources and learning content to be stored in one place, digitally.
- Utilising more video and audio capture tools to bolster communication and increase understanding.
- Recording feedback verbally for students, which is particularly beneficial for those with learning difficulties.
As the pandemic essentially ‘forced’ teachers to embrace these technological changes, the fact that they have remained in many schools due to their many advantages demonstrates the importance of adaptability. Being open to the fact that certain changes are here to stay, then reinforcing competency with them, will ultimately increase teacher confidence.
Remain resilient and open to change
Change can be daunting, especially if it happens in quick succession. But, with the right mindset and support, teachers are designed to take on change with a resilient attitude. The importance of adaptability in education cannot be overstated. After all, educators are required to adapt in their classroom every single day. Staying on top of the innovations that are supplementing the academic sphere will not only increase confidence in general, but it will provide you with important tools that could be used to assist your colleagues and students going forward.