PRACTICAL TIPS FOR TEACHING

Neal Pollard

 

  • Take the time at the beginning of class to break the ice, exude warmth, and build rapport.
  • Make sure you have done due diligence, entering the classroom with ample preparation.
  • Strike the balance of being “open” and “approachable” as a teacher without putting out the vibe of vulnerability or uneasiness.
  • Guide the direction of the class rather than letting the class direct you.
  • Always ask questions that are meaningful and not those that are either fillers or those that insult the student’s intelligence.
  • Avoid embarrassing or putting the student on the spot, as you cannot know the frame of mind or circumstances that may be weighing on him or her in that moment.
  • Never fail to draw conclusions and take a stand on matters of faith.
  • Do not overly press personal convictions or judgment calls upon the classroom.
  • Keep the specter of pride away from your heart so that you do not always feel the need to be right and for the student to be wrong.
  • Do not let blatantly false statements by the student go unanswered–speak the truth in love, but remember the utmost need for truth to be upheld.
  • If you make the class interesting (this is the product of study and preparation, including searching for appropriate illustrations), class feedback and discussion takes care of itself
  • Budget your time, neither glossing over or bogging down in material
  • While forced excitement will seem artificial, generating genuine passion and enthusiasm is infectious and aids the learning environment.
  • Leverage the resources in the room, looking to mature, knowledgeable Bible students to assist you in making particularly difficult or controversial points.
  • After properly interpreting and teaching the biblical text, be ever the gleaner for application–material the student can take and translate into daily living and personal use.

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