Why audio is perfect to prepare for the start of term
Starting the school year right is important for students and teachers alike. However long you’ve been teaching, September brings an opportunity for new ideas and experiences. Even if the curriculum remains the same, each year, month, week or day provides the space to do something a little differently.
An important part of the preparation a teacher can do over the Summer is to have proper downtime. Without a break, school years easily roll into each other, not giving you the break you both need and deserve. But when September is in sight, before the hectic day-to-day of school life begins, it might be time to look at some new ways of inspiring your students.
Introducing podcasts and audio learning to the beginning of your teaching process signals an intellectual adaptability you would hope to impart to your students. Enthusiasm is infectious. And if you can get excited about new ways of teaching, they’ll be inclined to get excited about learning.
Here are just a few reasons why audio learning is the best way to prepare for the start of term;
1. It’s not an end to the holiday for your students. While reading tends to need our full, undivided attention, podcasts are easily incorporated into other activities. Those ‘in-between' parts of life - walking into town, having a shower, tidying a room - can become interesting activities in themselves with a bit of educational audio content.
2. It’s not an end to the holiday for you. By suggesting audio learning, teachers start back at school with students already familiar with the core components of their subject, without the awkward practice of setting holiday homework. Tutorials are written by academics from leading universities and schools across the country, so you can trust they’re getting the information they need.
3. Nerves and anxiety are common amongst young people in the lead up to a new school year. Audio based education can soothe the fear surrounding the year to come, by introducing the curriculum in a friendly, personal way. The storytelling element of audio learning adds a human warmth to what could seem daunting to those beginning their exam journey.
4. Listening is a skill, one which your students may not have practised much over the past few weeks! Activating that listening part of the brain in a home setting, will make the transition back in to the classroom easier for everyone.
For a long time we’ve known that students learn in different ways. Though eventually everyone must take the same exams, technology is helping us to move away from the one size fits all approach. Time is limited in the classroom, but simply by being informed about what learning tools are out there, the more we can respect the educational needs of each and every person in the classroom. So think about starting your term with some audio learning. But most importantly, teach that there are other, valid ways of processing information. You might just make some students feel that they too, are finally being heard.