In Agile, we know the importance of continuous improvement and the key role that learning plays in this process. But we rarely speak of the important role that teaching plays in making it all possible.
I started my career as a high school English and Math teacher and, long before that, I worked with university students with learning disabilities. It’s from this experience that I would like to offer up a few tips for Agile teachers out there.
Here’s the first… “Teach them where they are at.”
It’s not uncommon for novice teachers to try to pass along their agenda without consideration for their students’ context. In our eagerness to impart knowledge, we forget that our students may not be ready to receive what we are trying to teach.
Instead we need to take time to understand the current reality of our students. Consider what hurdles they are going to have to overcome before they can entertain your agenda. Keep in mind, these hurdles can be knowledge based just as much as they can be emotionally based. Good teachers work to to fill-in those gaps…
So beyond gauging the knowledge level of your students, this implies understanding what motivates the people that you are teaching. Remember also that if your students aren’t self-motivated, then you’ll be expected to create that motivation. Motivation is important, because motivation creates active engagement in your students. Active engagement is the only way that a student can tap into the brain power they will need to learn what it is that you have to teach.
Stay tuned next week, for Agile Teaching 102… 😉