How do I become the best teacher I possibly can?
April 9, 2012 3:23 AM Subscribe
What are some tips for becoming a better teacher?
posted by rahulrg to Education (11 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I have zero teaching experience.
I have just begun teaching the basics of programming to a group of adults. Both the group and I are participating in this exercise on a purely voluntary basis.
In order to be the best teacher I possibly can, I can think of doing the following things right:
1. Be strong and thorough with with the material myself before each class. I've been coding on and off for a reasonably long time - I am no star coder but I do have a good grasp of the fundamentals.
2. Encourage learning by doing in class (more so, given this is coding).
3. Reasonably challenging - and creative/funny/non-boring - homework to keep the students busy and engaged between classes.
4. Working towards a real-life goal (say like building a small computer game), so that the students can actually apply what they are learning. At the end of the class, they should look back and see something tangible that they built.
I've seen a lot of bad teachers in my time, and I absolutely do not want to be one of those. Broadly, I expect these challenges:
1. Not everyone will be equally "gifted". How do I make sure that no one gets left behind in class without slowing the learning of the quicker ones?
2. How do I try to make sure that the students "retain" skills that they will learn here? Is there some part of learning in class that can be made reasonably similar to learning to ride a bike (i.e, harder to forget?)
3. How do I make sure my classes are not dull and boring? Are teachers like actors on stage who know the script but can still be malleable to needs of the audience?
Please share your experiences of teaching, any tips that you may have, or any resources you can point me towards. Thanks!