Teaching Kids & Big Kids (Adults)
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW…..
You learned in kindergarten.
That is the common maxim touted since I first found myself IN kindergarten. Being in Ireland right now writing this, I am inspired to reflect upon my past world travels. In 2000-2002 I spent time teaching kindergarten in southeast China. My mentor back then, Alex Abdulnour, told me something about teaching kids that I hold very close to my heart to this day. I believe that this same thing is applicable to teaching adults, as adults are just kindergarteners in bigger clothes.
Apply these concepts and you will become a much better instructor.
He said the following –
They want to know how much you care before they care how much you know.
This I find to be absolutely true. You need to care about your students. They can sense when you don’t, or when you are being disingenuous. Relationships are like bank accounts. You have to make a deposit before you make a withdrawal. Before you can expect anything from your students and from people in general, you need to invest and show them you genuinely care.
Have a plan prepared for them or they will have a plan prepared for you…and you won’t like their plan.
Make sure you have a guideline going into class or you will be sorry you didn’t. Dogs can smell fear. Students can smell unpreparedness. You don’t have to stick to the plan exactly – but have at least a skeletal structure in place to navigate your class.
Make them laugh.
Elicit positive emotions and make them feel good. If you do this, they will connect the concepts you offer with positive emotions. If you make your students feel good while learning, they are more apt to remember what you taught.
Think to yourself what teachers you remember fondly? Did they care about you? Were they prepared? Did they make you laugh and feel good?
Also, as with everything, be a critical consumer of information (another tidbit given to me by Alex). Take what I say, and weigh it like you should all incoming information. Include the concepts in this article into your teaching, and you will have far more success in empowering your students with the information you are communicating.