Becoming a teacher and leading your first class is as exciting as it is daunting. Even educators have a learning curve on the first day of the job. A teacher’s first class is rarely flawless, but there are helpful ways to avoid many novice mistakes. If you want to make the most out of day one, read the steps below to learn what to know before teaching your first class.
Routinely Open the Floor for Questions
It’s easy to get caught up in a lesson and move from topic to topic without asking for student feedback. This is especially true for newcomers excited to teach, but even longtime educators can run into this mistake. After going over a given topic, feel free to open the floor for questions. Encourage students to bring up any confusion or concerns they have with the information you’re explaining.
If you’re proceeding without student feedback, the only indicator of their information retention will be quiz scores. Instead, listen to your students and help them through lessons to ensure most of those quiz scores will be high by the end of each section.
Weave Student Interests Into Lessons
As you’ll see throughout this list, what to know before teaching your first class comes down to ensuring you and the students are learning in a coherent, stress-free way. Teachers know the lessons, but they must learn how each student interprets information.
Teachers should forge strong bonds with students in class, learning their interests and goals in life. In doing so, teachers can add a personal touch to lessons. Some subjects that seem daunting, such as science or math, can become a bit easier to grasp if you tie the lesson into a current event or relevant topic. This is a great method for getting everyone up to speed during class, but personal interests are the most useful when individual students reach out for help. Personalizing lessons is a perfect way to wrap helpful info in more digestible packages.
Be Open To Altering Your Pace
Speaking of reaching out for help, you might find yourself in a situation where a large chunk of the class isn’t retaining or understanding a specific topic. This is why encouraging questions is so crucial. If you see a trend of students struggling with a topic, listen to their feedback and make a new plan. After spending a lot of time on a section, it can be very frustrating if the students aren’t quite learning the ropes. Thankfully, being willing to slow your pace to go over a previous topic is beneficial to everyone.
For example, kindergarten teachers can use several simple methods for dealing with stress. Adjusting your pace is one of the best examples of this. Matching the pace of the class to students’ knowledge retention is great for learners and teachers alike. By moving at the right speed, you can avoid having to constantly double-back to explain older topics.