Be an Effective Teacher Without the Frustration

Sometimes we have a struggler who just doesn't seem to get the lesson we're trying to present no matter how many times we have presented it. Frustration may try to overtake us but we must not allow it to take us captive to its destructive vice.

Instead we must find another way to present the lesson that is geared toward our child's learning style and learning ability.

A greater time may need to be spent on teaching the concept. Let's face it. Do we always grasp how to do something the first time we see or hear the instructions? We must remember to teach effectively, not hurriedly. 

Use manipulatives whenever possible. Manipulatives are objects, drawings, charts, number lines, or other tools that a child may touch, handle, and manipulate. For example, instead of trying to describe how to do an addition equation, picture the process first.

Draw the addition problem on the page. 
9 + 8 = ? 
Draw a set of 9 triangles and a set of 8 triangles. 
Then circle both sets to show that you are going to group them together. Let the child give the answer.

Next use objects to show the equation process. 
Place 9 objects in one group. Place 8 objects in another group. Then pull the objects into one group. Let the child give the answer.

Then have the child use the objects to show the equation process using the same equation. If he or she does this correctly, then give the child another equation. 

7 + 5 = ?
Let the child use the objects to show the equation process. 7 objects should be placed in one group. 5 objects should be placed in another group. Allow the child to explain what he or she is doing so you can see if they are processing the problem correctly. Let the child give the answer to the equation. 

When you are satisfied that the process has been understood correctly, go back to paper and do several equations together if necessary. 

Stay focused on the goal of the lesson. Teach the lesson effectively without frustration. An effective teacher will seem to overteach at times but the goal of understanding will be achieved at a higher rate. And is understanding not what we're trying to achieve?


For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. Isaiah 28:10