Monash University Lecturer. Addicted and compassionate traveler,
If you really, really want to get that awesome message in your heart and mind across loud and clear, challenge, inspire and encourage your learners, and bust out your own authentically confident self all at the same time, there’s a few things you’ve got to know.
So what are our kickass teacher lessons so far?
- Teachers know stuff, do stuff and exude stuff – check ✔
- Kickass teaching happens when I try to and do TEACH U – check ✔
- Teaching is more like a performance than we think – check ✔
Yep, so that’s it. Teaching 101 sorted!
Errrr… not so fast. We’ve just scratched the surface of teaching know how with these cute diagrams and acronyms. Now we get serious.
If you really, really want to get that awesome message in your heart and mind across loud and clear, challenge, inspire and encourage your learners, and bust out your own authentically confident self all at the same time you’ve got to know about just one more thing – pedagogy.
Basically it’s a fancy word for “how to teach stuff”. Remember when I said that for people to learn stuff, we have to create change in them? Well, this blog is about how that happens.
Totally kickass teachers create change by:
- Deploying a distinct pedagogical skillset
- Adopting a never say die mindset
They quite literally transform the way that the people in front of them think and act. And yes you’re right – pedagogy could actually be the reason they then go on to buy your idea or your stuff.
So how you share your message is very important – and that’s why we have two blogs just on this one idea. The first is the CREATE model of teacher skill set.
The Six Skills to Create Change
There are at least 6 skill sets that teachers deploy to CREATE changes that rock their learners’ worlds.
1. Create big goals
Write down 3-5 challenging and targeted learning outcomes for every teaching session you deliver – not about you, for your learner. Start the list with ‘By the end of this session participants will be able to’.
2. Realize roles, be adaptable
Know your expertise and limitations. Be prepared to be what your audience needs from moment to moment (e.g., salesperson, mentor, leader, guru, confidante, priest). Switch, chop and change but always be the ‘teacher’.
3. Engage and connect
Despite what you might think the information or message you have is NOT the focus, student engagement in it is! Yes begin with the end in mind but seriously think about how to excite, motivate and activate participants so that they engage with you and your information. Two great ways to do this are to ask brain based thinking questions, and to get learners to do a small activity at various intervals in your session (also keeps them awake).
4. Always plan with purpose
Start every session over prepared, over organised and overly ready to teach. Try using a teaching lesson plan to organise your session. It will bring both structure and clarity to your teaching process. It also places learners in your session and they are more likely to trust you know what you are doing (even when you don’t).
5. Teach for fun, learn for life
Evidence from neuroscience suggests that we learn more things when we are activated, engaged and having fun – gets our neurons firing. So prepare to giggle, smile, and be playful. Creative thinking activities, metaphors, images and colour, squidgy toys, step by step models or systems plus personally relevant activities are the trick here (avoid the bad jokes).
6. Evaluate constantly, reflect generously
Your teaching role is not over after the class is delivered – in fact for some of you it may be the beginning of your own learning process. Putting in place formal evaluation methods for you, your teaching and/or your content is an extremely important part of the teaching and learning process. As is sitting back and honestly reflecting upon your methods, strategies, feelings, and level of achievement of the outcomes of each session.
So that’s the first half of the CREATE CHANGE Model – the skill set part.
How do you currently rate yourself in terms of these more ‘real’ how to teach skills? Where do you need to lift your game? What are your next step actions to prepare you first or 50th WeTeachMe lesson?
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