The most amazing thing about our country’s youth is the vast talent and creativity it possesses. Every student contains innate talents and skills. Over the years, they have enhanced these skills. Putting it very simply, a teacher is very much responsible for realizing any latent skills/talents in a student and helping them nurture them for their betterment. You, as a teacher, should explore and encourage your students to cultivate their skills. What a shame it would be if a student’s hidden talent goes unnoticed. Imagine what the student can do once they realize their potential.
Students may themselves not realize their capabilities, but a teacher possesses something like a "sixth sense" when it comes to bringing out the hidden talents in a student and enhancing their skills. Teachers have to take the matter into their own hands to identify the vast potential in a student from the day they have been enrolled in the institution.
Now you must be wondering how you can find out their skillset. As a teacher, you have to employ various tactics and strategies to unravel their latent potential. You have to deeply observe your students and conduct scrutiny to analyze their strengths and weaknesses. This will not only help you disclose their talent but also help the students gain more confidence and move ahead in their lives.
In this blog, we will delve deeper into the strategies that you can implement to bring out the best and uncover the hidden talents of your students.
1. Observing Students
One way to find out about the students' talent is to observe them closely. Observing your students in a group setting, individually working or even in pairs, will give you an idea about their progress, understanding, strengths, weaknesses, cooperation, study habits, and attitude. These characteristics will provide you with valuable information about their hidden talents and skills. To record your observation, you can use a notebook or even sticky notes to jot down your thoughts. You can also maintain a folder with records of your comments written on sheets of paper.
2. Scrutinising the Students' Hobbies
Another great way to find out your students' talent is to pay close attention to their hobbies. It is a known fact that people enjoy certain activities because they find themselves doing really good at them. Students possessing natural skills tend to get attracted to similar activities. Some students become very passionate about those activities. Once you discover their interest, encourage them to pursue the talent whole-heartedly and with due diligence.
Often the student may find other activities more interesting, and their intrigue may divert, but that's not always a negative thing. It would help motivate them to continue with their genuine interest and stay focused. Other times, these hobbies are neglected due to various reasons and often due to the advice of parents, but you, as a teacher, should motivate the student to continue developing their hobby and treat it as a passion. After all, their hobbies are what mirror their hidden talent that can be further cultivated to help the students grow into further qualified individuals.
3. Performance Assessment
Performance assessment will help you determine which task the student performs very well. This will uncover their hidden talent and discover any skills they possess. This also shows how far the student understands goes and if they are able to grasp an already taught concept in class. You can assess a student in various ways. You can create a questionnaire or assign tasks to get at the depth of the skill. Tests can be in different forms: traditional methods like MCQs, true or false or IQ based. You can make the test as creative as your want to assess the student's presence of mind and creativity.
4. Assigning Tasks
You can conduct different competitions and tasks for your students. A talent show is a great way to encourage students to showcase their skills and talent. Many institutions hold cultural shows and Science Expos to enhance their skillset. Online contests are a great way to identify hidden talent. Such contests include art & craft contests, Mathematics Olympiad, Science Olympiad, debate and various other contests in diverse realms. Students tend to prepare and give their best shot in these contests. These competitions should be conducted in a healthy way and treated as a way to cultivate skills rather than induce competition among students. Through these competitions, you can very well find out which students are gifted and which unique skills they possess.
5. Encouraging Creativity
Every individual possesses a certain amount of creativity. One of the ways to help the students' creativity flow is to ask them to brainstorm ideas. This will help you understand what your students’ preferences are. Their nature of creative ideas will align with the area or topic they are interested in. Hence, it's important to motivate them constantly brainstorm and come up with innovative solutions to problems. A teacher is a constant source of encouragement, motivation and inspiration for students. It's not just motivational quotes but also the actions of a teacher that students observe. You have to encourage the students, especially the quiet ones, to share their opinions and ideas with you. Once you observe and identify their enthusiasm and intrigue in a certain field/activity, help them become more passionate about it and develop their skill.
6. Allow Students to Express Themselves
To discover latent talent, it is very essential to allow the students to express themselves freely. One of the ways to help them express their ideas and opinions is by making them feel comfortable and safe. Be friendly to your students and be non-judgmental. Conducting outings might prove beneficial as well. During these outings, students tend to open up and laugh whole-heartedly. It is not surprising to see a quiet and shy student laughing without feeling any inhibitions.
The above techniques will help you uncover the hidden talents in your students and help them grow into better individuals. It's a loss for both the student and the people around them to have their skill or latent talent go unnoticed. So, as a responsibility of a teacher, you need to apply these strategies to identify the talents of a student and help them cultivate their skills.