Teachers are expected to instill many lessons during their time with students. Not only do they need to equip students with abilities such as reading and writing, but they also need to instill other valuable skills and behaviors.

Teaching students how to be independent is an important lesson that works best when wrapped up in education. Students who feel independence in the classroom are more likely to succeed in their schooling – and later in life.

Cultivating Motivation

One of the primary goals of instilling independence in the classroom is that it encourages students to continue learning independently. Thus, motivation plays a significant role in this process.

Teachers can help this process by showing their own enthusiasm for learning. Additionally, they can make learning a fun experience, as opposed to a chore. This is a delicate balance, one that will vary from student to student.

Appreciation and Rewards

Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to encourage the behavior to continue. Naturally, this means that teachers should reward students for any positive behavior they see – even if that reward is simple appreciation.

When teaching this lesson, it’s important to also train students to acknowledge their own achievements. Students can feel stymied during the learning process if they feel like they aren’t getting the material quickly enough. 

Use Questions

Teaching through the use of questions is a common and effective way to encourage students to be more independent in their learning. This process transfers the responsibility from the teacher onto the student, but it does so in a gradual enough way as not to be alarming to the student.

Encourage Student Talk

Another standard method deployed is the use of workshops. That is to say, encouraging groups of students to work together to find the answer. Once again, this takes the responsibility off of the teacher. Unlike the above method, this process allows the responsibility to be spread out among several students, making for an easier transition.

Modify Class Policies

Class policies that allow for independent thinking and learning are overall more effective at encouraging these traits. For example, teachers should include more time for independent review and reduce punishments if a student needs more time to work through the process on their own.

Article originally published on WayneEmersonGregoryJr.org