You have learned many techniques and tips in your teaching courses. Now how do you apply them once you are out in the workforce or doing internships? As is often heard, “it is much easier said than done!” Here are a few ideas on how to apply these techniques from your teacher’s classroom to your own classroom:
First of all, have a plan. Know what your objective is and the steps needed to teach it to your students. When you have taken the time to prepare, it is much more likely that your class will go smoothly. Have not only your plan but also an option B and C; be flexible and ready to change plans if needed. Remember who you are teaching and have goals not only for self-improvement, but also for what you want your students to accomplish. Many of my students in India have short attention spans.
A dance activity that may take 15 minutes in the US takes only five in India before they need something new to do. Because of this, I must have multiple plans and ideas in my back pocket that are ready for use.
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” —Alexander Graham Bell
Once you have prepared, the next step is to practice! Practice with friends, family, anyone! Practice makes perfect. If you are having a hard time being self-confident, change your inner monologue. Tell yourself you can do it. It will be hard at first, but as you practice and apply your lessons, teaching will come more naturally. Attempt the techniques you have learned to see if they work for you. You will never know until you try! Though you may have loved the techniques you learned in the classroom, once you try them, they may not work for your style, students, or situation. Many of my methods, such as changing the volume of my voice, have not been as successful while teaching in India.
Because of the outdoor setting and rowdiness of the students, I have found that having them move around while I talk keeps their interest longer than raising or lowering my voice. I would not have known this unless I was willing to experiment with different methods. This is why it is so important to obtain as much experience as you can in order to develop your own style.
“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.” —Mahatma Gandhi
It is important to have expectations for yourself but keep in mind that progress takes time. Teaching inherently has many ups and downs. Don’t give up on yourself. Track your progress to see what you have done. The results will help reveal what you still want to do to improve. Remember that this is a career of experience. So get out there and start teaching what you have learned with preparation, practice, and patience!
“Have patience with all things, but, first of all with yourself.” —Saint Francis de Sales