Whether you teach for a living or not, having the ability to be a good teacher can help us in many aspects of our lives and it is always worth trying to improve your teaching skills. You never know when you will find yourself in a position where you need to show somebody something new, this could happen at work, with friends or even as a parent and improving your teaching skills can give you the confidence to successfully show people new skills.
We had a chat with John Kleinheinz Fort Worth-based hedge fund manager and firm believer in the advancement of education who told us a few ways in which you can better teach someone a new skill or piece of information.
Before you even begin to teach something new it is important that you have a full understand of what kind of leaner you are teaching. Everyone learns in different ways, some like to be inspired with a goal or a clear destination, others are more analytical and benefit well from written information and some prefer visual aids to help them learn and understand better whatever it is that you are showing them. Identifying this learning style will help you greatly once you get underway with your teaching.
Don’t Be Boring
It can be very easy to be boring as a teacher but it is important that you do all that you can to add some creativity to proceedings. Even if you are teaching something mundane, you need to try to find ways to break up the monotony with a little bit of fun, this will not only help the learner to stay more focussed and interested in what you are teaching them, but it will also help them to better learn.
There are very few people in the World who can hear something once and instantly cement the new knowledge into their brain and the rest of us require constant review and repetition. Break down whatever you are teaching into bitesized chunks and then at the end of each piece, review what you have just learned. This will help you to understand whether the learner has understood as well as helping the learner to reinforce the new knowledge which they have.
Make it Relevant
You need to help the learner to understand why they are actually learning whatever it is that you are teaching. Explain to them how this additional knowledge is going to help them or where they can use it once they have it. Equally, adding relevance to the knowledge which they are learning can help them better understand it, using analogies which fit the person’s interests are a great way of hitting home with the knowledge. If you are teaching a child something new for example, then try to involve one of their favorite Disney characters, this will help to make the knowledge more memorable for the child and it will also ensure that they give you all of their attention.