Posted by: austend | Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thoughts for Teachers Pt. 3

Distractions & Students’ Attention

Two chief hindrances to the attention of your students in class—apathy [to the subject] and distraction.

  1. Never begin a class exercise until the attention of the class has been secured.  Study for a moment the faces of the pupils to see if all are mentally, as well as bodily, present.
  2. Pause whenever the attention is interrupted or lost, and wait until it is completely regained.
  3. Never wholly exhaust the attention of your pupils.  Stop as soon as signs of fatigue appear.
  4. Adapt the length of the class exercise to the ages of the pupils: the younger the pupil, the briefer the lesson.
  5. Arouse attention when necessary by variety in your presentation, but be careful to avoid distractions; keep the real lesson in view.
  6. Appeal whenever possible to the interests of your pupils.
  7. Look for sources of distraction, such as unusual noises, inside the classroom and out and reduce them to a minimum.
  8. Prepare beforehand thought-provoking questions.
  9. Make your presentation as attractive as possible, using illustrations and all legitimate devices.  Do not, however, let these devices become so prominent as themselves to become sources of distraction.
  10. Comenius (Moravian clergymen in 16-17th centuries) said, “Most teachers sow plants instead of seeds; instead of proceeding from the simplest principles they introduce the pupil at once into a chaos of books and miscellaneous studies.”  The true teacher stirs the ground and sows the seed.  It is the work of the soil, through its own forces, to develop the growth and ripen the grain.

These are all thoughts taken directly from:
John Milton Gregory, The Seven Laws of Teaching, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1954). {Here}

This is an outstanding book! I highly recommend it for anyone who does any type of teaching.

Those statements in italics are my explanatory notes for possibly unclear statements.

This is part of a series: {All Posts in Series}

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