Fellas, I am starting to delve off into some teaching for Continuing Education Credits that are required for some states. You are the best guys to ask this: "What are some of the things that impresses you most out of an instructor and his presentation?" I am really anxious to receive feedback on this 'cause I want to do it right for the attendees. I am sending my computer off to be cleaned out so I will be out of touch for a week or so. I would greatly appreciate some pointers. I have my own opinions on this but would like to hear the "big picture". Thanx in advance.
I'm no regular teacher, just an EE, but I recently started teaching at a local 4-year college. I've talked with the students about what they like about my methods (and what they didn't like). I prepare the lecture notes that would normally be written on the board in advance and leave space on the right margin. I pass it out in the beginning of class and they then can add notes/comments on my lecture, rather than try to copy my blackboard notes and miss what I say. They seem to like that.
If your teaching electricians (or apprentices) know your material, be current on the industry, and respect and encourage class participation. Nothing is more boring then carrying a class for hours with out a dialog with the students. Most journeyman will attend because they have to and motivation is not always high. Up to date provocative and accurate information will go miles. If you do not know the answer don’t be afraid to admit it everyone has different experiences. Not let your ego get ahead of you but assume command every group needs a leader “ Your It!!”
Good luck and don’t be surprise by what you learn.
edit for spelling
[This message has been edited by cpal (edited 02-11-2005).]
I took instruction classes in the Navy and also at IBM, teaching both places. I think the most important thing is to have a prepared lesson plan before you walk into the class. I like to write the bullet points on the board but you should always have them in front of you if you don't. It helps if you have some rough time estimates on your plan. Then you can keep on track and not get caught at the end of the day behind schedule. If you lose time it is hard to catch up but if you have some extra time you can have an instant review of something you think they were having trouble with. Try to make this as much a give and take as you can but don't lose control of the class. Teaching is a blend of salesmanship and show business with a major in time management.
[This message has been edited by gfretwell (edited 02-12-2005).]
I second cpal's "don't be afraid to admit you don't know".
You have to establish yourself as a credible source to your students if you want them to get the most out of learning from you. I had several instructors (and bosses) that tried to BS around an answer they didn't know. I then had to second guess everything they taught and always weigh in the back of my mind that I may have been taught wrong. Nothing is more frustrating than having to forget what what you have been taught, and remember to remember the new infromation.... if it is in fact correct.....or is it??
I have always had more respect for someone who said they didn't know. The idea is to actually pursue and attain excellence, not just convince me you have achieved it. By admitting you don't know it will force you to learn it, which will help ratchet you up to the next caliber.
Steve, Never been in teaching as such, but used to be a part time assessor with a local college, found that students liked to talk to people that have hands on knowledge of the trade. Theoretical solutions somtimes need to be tweeked with a touch of real world practice. Students love that. Students very mutch apreciate the fact that you have been in the field and tried to solve the same problems as they have. I agree with CPAL you will probably learn almost as mutch as the student, but do stay in command at all times. Good luck
One thing tthat is good about teaching from a lesson plan is the stuff you are pitching should be right, since you developed the plan. When you do get a question from left field you can admit that you don't know but you will find out, then get back to the required material.
Thanx fellas, I sure appreciate the feedback. Good stuff which I will take to heart. I have problem telling people I don't know something. In fact, I often tell people "You would be amazed with what I don't know!" LOL