One thing that I see in a lot of blogs is a “List of Rules”, so I’ll go ahead and pitch my 7 rules for teaching success. I won’t try to contort or stretch the list to try and get to 10… I think the only real reason that people try to get 10 rules is because we have 10 fingers. Besides, I prefer the “short and sweet” lists – they’re easier to remember anyway.
I think that the reasons for most of these rules are pretty self evident, and I know I’ve talked about most of these before (with the possible exception of number 5). So much of actual teaching is simply in imbuing your class with an an attitude about learning, that the subject matter is almost incidental. Teaching facts and methods almost have to be secondary to promoting the idea of learning… because, lets face it, no amount of force will make a student learn something. If all the students needed was a simple recitation of facts, then learning would be no more difficult than picking up a textbook. But what an instructor brings to a classroom is an enthusiasm for their subject, and the ability to demonstrate not just how something works, but why it is useful or fun. And watching students try is what makes the job worthwhile. (That and lots of vacation days).
So here we go:
7 Rules for teaching success
- Don’t cripple your students by going easy on them.
- Patience isn’t a virtue, it is an utter necessity.
- Have a plan for your class. If you don’t, they will.
- Make it fun. “Learning while asleep” is science fiction.
- Don’t waste your time trying to convince a student that they need to learn. Let them convince themselves that they need to learn.
- When the time comes, give your students the grade they’ve earned.
- Never give up on a student. If you do, then they will too.
I hope you feel inspired. Does anyone want to add to the list? Feel free to post a comment.