The Keys to an Effective Lesson

Being a teacher is a role with a lot of responsibility. As mundane as the tasks involved with your day-to-day work can often feel, it’s important to provide education to as many people as possible. However, you might also understand that this education needs to actually be effective in order to have the impact that you want it to.

In a lot of ways, this might be out of your hands. The curriculum is what it is, and you have to work within that. Still, the way that you structure and deliver your lessons might be more important than you know, which gives you room to maximize the potential of the content you teach.

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If your students aren’t engaged, the information isn’t going to be remembered to the level that’s required. This might be the aspect of teaching that people struggle with the most because it can feel out of your hands at times—if students are absorbed in their own conversations or otherwise uninterested, it can be easy to lose control of the room entirely. 

The trick is making them interested, but this in itself might also sound like something that’s much easier said than done. One possible option that you have here is to relate the information you’re conveying to something that’s relevant in the lives of your students. This might be difficult to maintain throughout the whole lesson, but it can give you a strong point to begin with, hooking them in for the rest of the lesson.


It’s not enough to just talk about this, though, as that could have the same overall impact as any conversation. Students need a chance to internalize this and apply it themselves, giving them an opportunity to wrap their minds around it in a way that makes sense to them. 

You have to tailor this to the group in question, though. Younger literacy groups might need 1st grade writing prompts that can simply nudge them in the right direction. When you get into older groups and more advanced mathematics, you’re going to need tasks that push them and force them to question what they’ve learned without being so difficult that it risks the entire lesson coming off as something they simply don’t understand.


This process doesn’t have to be a straightforward transaction, though—one where you deliver the information, and they promptly regurgitate that information onto a worksheet. Instead, a more open forum can ultimately lead to a more thorough understanding of the topic at hand. Here, they can ask questions that better define the dimensions of the topic and talk to their own friends which helps them to ground the subject on their own terms.

Again, it can be very easy for this to slide into chaos with the wrong circumstances, but it’s important to understand how important of a tactic it can be. You’ll want to avoid a situation where you’re implementing an overly strict teaching approach that limits any conversation, as that might simply have students waiting for the minutes to pass until the lesson is over.

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