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Useful Tips for Teaching Children Effectively

31 December, 2017
Q I'm working as a teacher and I'm suffering from parents and their anarchy. They are refusing to communicate and actively coordinate with outside experts working with the child such as the child's therapist or a tutor. They ignore reports from evaluators. They fail to respond to other parents in writing or at a meeting when a problem arises. What can I do?


Wa `Alaykum as-Salam wa Rahamtu Allahi wa Barakatuh,

Jazaka Allahu khayran for your question. The problem here in the United Kingdom in specific and the West in general is the lack of discipline and behavior management controls in schools, and thus this often creates a challenge for teachers especially in high school context. As a result, there is not much you can do to discipline a child; it is difficult to manage such situations and still preserve respect.

However, it is imperative that the system is followed at the same time. Among the important factors that further aggravate the issue is the lack of parental guidance to children and their full dependence on schools to deliver education to children in a solo fashion.

This problem you face is beyond the ability of any single teacher or small group of teachers to solve on their own as it is a general trend that reflects behavior at home for the whole society with varying degrees. That does not mean that you are not doing the right thing with those children or not trying to teach them respect for the elder and values that their parents probably won’t possess themselves.

But what I am saying is that it will be a difficult and tiring job. May Allah Most High give you the energy, reward, and steadfastness on the straight path. Both sides (students and teachers) are victims of the system and the deteriorated behavioral attribute of the society. The number of pupils in classrooms is also rising to reach near 30 which comprises on the quality and control as well.

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Teaching is one of the best professions for women. As a primary school teacher, I have included the following tips that I hope will be of some value to you:

1. Involve parents (mothers) in the teaching process on a voluntary basis. This will achieve two important things: it can help alleviate the problem of growing student numbers, and the parents can experience their children’s behavior (and progress) and help you at home with this problem.

2. Have patience. Women are endowed with patience; they can tolerate what men cannot. You need tohave a lot of patience to deal with children.

3. Be creative. Children learn in many ways, and sometimes what you have planned might not meet the needs of the children or attract their attention. You have to be versatile and have the ability to improvise. You need to think of new and different ways of presenting the same idea. You also have to remember that children learn at different rates, and the most successful way of teaching is hands on. Let the children participate in most of the activities and have ownership of them.

4. Listen to your students; they might surprise you. Children sometimes see what we grown-ups overlook. If this happens, give them the time to explore their ideas; they might reach at that moment what you have been trying to put through for weeks. Also, be ready to pause your lesson or even divert it if you see a positive outcome from a child’s remark.

5. Befriend your students; have lunch with them, play with them in the playground while maintaining your authority. Children at primary age like to test the adults even if it is the teacher, so be kind but firm, and have a list of actions and consequences. Children like to know their limits and if you don’t draw them, they will keep pushing all the time.

6. Be involved in their lives and know their families. At collection time, spend an extra five minutes with the parents; establish a positive relationship with them. It might be difficult with the large numbers of students, but it’s very important.

7. Have a file for each child, with the child’s family, siblings, grandparents, pets, birthdays, special occasions, to refer to it whenever needed.

About Soha El-Saman
Soha El-Saman is the founder and headmistress of Al-Abrar Arabic Language School, Reading, Berkshire, UK. The school teaches a range of ages from 5 years to adults.She is also a teacher of Information Technology to primary pupils at Chiltern College, Reading, UK. Soha teaches Arabic and Islamic Studies at several educational centers attached to UK mosques.