Part 2. Let’s get started!
(Part 1, if you missed it.)
Before you begin teaching your JA program, it's important to start the day on a positive note and help the students feel comfortable. Even if this isn't your first JA class, here are some great tips to consider when teaching:
• Arrive early, but don't interrupt if the class is in session.
• Wear business attire; look like an "expert."
• Greet the students in a friendly, yet professional manner.
• Smile, shake hands (if appropriate), and maintain eye contact.
• Give your name, and ask each student for his or her name. Use the Table Tents provided to help you learn the students' names.
• Be yourself. Talk about your early aspirations, your current job, and how you got it.
• Determine what the students already know about a concept or topic. What knowledge and experiences do they bring to the class?
How to become a good teacher?
Although the teacher is responsible for all instruction and discipline within the class, the following suggestions can help you work with the students:
• Tailor your presentation to meet the needs of the teacher and the students. Use language, examples, and analogies that the students can understand, but don't talk down to them. Avoid any use of gender, racial, or ethnic stereotypes.
• Discuss with the teacher the best way to work with students with special needs, those who have limited English language skills, or those who have difficulty reading.
• Limit lectures to no more than 5 to 10 minutes; lecture usually is the least effective of all teaching strategies.
• Define or review the main points and/or key terms on the board, an overhead transparency, a flip chart, or other visible place; keep the Key Terms posted as reminders for students.
• Wait at least 5 seconds for an answer after calling on a student. Use as many open-ended questions as possible.
• Don't answer your own questions, and avoid criticizing or rejecting wrong answers from the students.
• When particular skills are required, such as mathematical calculations, provide an example or demonstration of the process before asking the students to solve a problem.
• Frequently check for understanding by asking relevant questions.
• During the first session, explain to the students that they must live up to the group expectations to ensure the success of program activities. Share the following expectations, and remind the students of them when necessary:
o Students in each group must work together at all times.
o Everyone participates and shares her or his knowledge.
o Everyone listens with respect.
Refer to our volunteer training site for videos and more! These tips are part of a series of posts. Come back soon, we will post more classroom management tips in the near future.