- Adith Chitlur
Want to learn how to run a class smoothly and efficiently? Here are five tips that are sure to help you succeed!
1) Come to class with a lesson plan.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to be prepared BEFORE you arrive at the class. It is quite common for people to get lazy and attempt to wing it because they were too lazy to plan ahead. This is the last thing you want to do, and will inevitably end badly regardless of how good you are at thinking on the spot. Instead, create a well-structured curriculum for the subject and divide the material equally among all of the classes. This will ensure that you, the teacher, know what you have to get through in the time given, and will also ensure that the students are captivated and engaged throughout the class.
2) Take a small portion out of the first class to get to know your students.
A small icebreaker or a quick game of 21 questions can go a long way in getting to know your students better. Students tend to be shy at the beginning, and getting comfortable with them will make the process of teaching a class a whole lot easier, especially for a class that is highly interactive, such as Speech and Debate. Communication is key, and you want your students to be comfortable enough to communicate with you and ask questions when they feel the need. Easing the tensions at the very beginning is an uncomplicated way to have them feel that way.
3) Take breaks when necessary.
When it comes to teaching a class, your students’ happiness and ability to learn should be top priority. Do not hesitate to let the class take a break for a few minutes when you feel like they need to. Not only will it will give you a chance to take a breath, but it will allow the students to shortly rest their brains as well. Doing too much of anything for too long is scientifically proven to worsen performance and make it much harder to focus. Additionally, it enables the students to talk with their peers and become more comfortable with them as well. A work environment in which everyone is comfortable with each other is of utmost importance.
4) Frequently ask your students for feedback.
If you are teaching a class, chances are there is a thing or two that you could to do make the experience just a little bit better for everyone. Be open to constructive criticism, and check in with your students frequently and ask them how you are doing. This way, you will know exactly what you need to improve on as well as get more comfortable with them at the same time. If you get positive feedback, then it will serve as a confidence booster and you should continue what you are doing, because it is working. If you are getting negative feedback, do not take it personally, but rather think of it as a learning experience and make sure that you fix the problem as soon as possible. As humans, we are bound to make mistakes and it is crucial to be aware of when we do make them.
5) Be unique.
Let’s face it, no student wants to listen to the teacher lecture the class for hours on end. We’ve all been through it and we did not like it, so make it a point not to do the same back to those you are teaching. It is your class, and you can choose to run it however you please. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity and add your own twists to the material and make it your own. Make sure that whatever it is that you are teaching, you would enjoy being taught as well. Overall, just make the learning experience as fun as it can be while not straying away from the education itself.
If you follow all 5 of these steps, you will easily be able to run a class that is fun, educational, and enjoyable for everyone!