I'm going to be teaching less-than-enthusiastic students; help me keep their respect and attention.
I'm not a trained teacher, but do quite a bit of in-house corporate training.
The attendees are usually
- quite cheerful because they're having a couple of days off work;
- quite motivated because they need the training to help them do their work/advance their careers;
- in their twenties or thirties.
Also the courses are short.
My teaching style in these sessions is to be funny and light and hopefully entertaining. I worry that I'm turning into the guy from The Office sometimes, except the training really is useful and I really do know my stuff.
But I have an occasional job teaching evening classes to graphic design students where everything is reversed:
- less cheerful because it's at the end of the day;
- less motivated because it's a mandatory, non-graphic class in a subject they find dull;
- mostly just out of high school.
The classes go a whole term.
Last time round my chatty, jokey teaching style wasn't much good. They basically didn't respect me much and didn't take the class very seriously.
What should I do to make sure I have a style appropriate to the situation? It's not that different to teaching high school, as far as I can see.
British teachers (whose school year starts in September) have a saying: "don't smile 'til Christmas". Apart from just being very formal and serious, what do I do to keep their respect and attention?