Understand ways to maintain a safe and supportive learning environment
2.1 Explain ways to maintain a safe and supportive learning environment
2.2 Explain why it is important to promote appropriate behaviour and respect for others
It is important to create a learning environment in which students feel safe, relaxed, and willing to take risks, especially for learners who may have had negative experiences in traditional classroom environments. Students often describe supportive learning environments as enhancing their self-esteem, which, when combined with increased literacy skills, help students take more chances in pursuing their goals.
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It may be appropriate to start with material that is slightly below the learners level.
Be patient! Patience is an extremely important characteristic for any teacher or tutor of adults. Adults can often take a longer time in the learning process because of various learning barriers, but this does not mean they aren’t motivated to learn.
Accept your learner as he/she is and respect his/her values even if they differ from yours.
Believe in your learner and he/she will begin to believe in him/herself.
Memorize the names of all your learners within the first week of instruction. Use learners’ names frequently.
Use positive nonverbal communication
Nonverbal messages are an essential component of communication in the teaching process. It is not only what you say to your learners that is important, but also how you say it. Some areas of nonverbal behaviours to explore include:
Eye contact: Teachers who make eye contact open the flow of communication and convey interest, concern, warmth and credibility.
Facial expressions: Smiling is a great way to communicate friendliness and warmth to learners.
Gestures: A lively and animated teaching style captures learners’ attention, makes the material more interesting, and facilitates learning. Head nods also communicate positive reinforcement to learners and indicate that you are listening.
Posture and body orientation: Standing erect, but not rigid, and leaning slightly forward communicates to learners that you are approachable, receptive and friendly. Speaking with your back turned or looking at the floor or ceiling should be avoided, as it communicates disinterest.
Proximity: Cultural norms dictate a comfortable distance for interaction with learners. Look for signals of discomfort caused by invading students’ space, which include rocking, leg swinging, crossed arms, tapping and gaze aversion.
Humour: Develop the ability to laugh at yourself and encourage learners to do the same. Humour is often overlooked as a teaching tool, yet it can release stress and tension for both tutor and learner and foster a friendly classroom environment that facilitates learning.
Motivation is a key factor in learner success, and whatever level of motivation your learner brings to the learning environment will be transformed, for better or worse, by what happens in the learning process.
Involve students as active participants in learning. Students learn by doing, making, writing, designing, creating, and solving. Pose questions. Don’t tell students something when you can ask them.
Be enthusiastic about what you are teaching. An tutor’s enthusiasm is a crucial factor in learner motivation. If you become bored or apathetic, learners will too.
Work from learners’ strengths and interests.
Vary your teaching methods. Variety reawakens learners’ involvement in the course and their motivation. Incorporate role playing, debates,...