By Melita Thomas
A successful and effective teacher understands the kids in their class or group and tailors teaching to meet their specific needs. That means we sometimes have to adjust our own personal preferences and teaching style to match what our kids need.
Here are seven tips to target your teaching to the kids in your class or group.
1. Keep It Short.
Today’s kids have short attention spans. Kids decide within seconds if what you have to say is worth their attention. If you miss that window you’ll have to work hard to regain their trust. Engage them quickly and deliberately. This requires preparation and intentionality.
2. Make It Visual.
Kids learn best when there are images that support the content you’re teaching. You can use pictures, maps, and even screens to engage and maintain their interest.
3. Feed Their Curiosity.
Kids are naturally curious. Start with something that whets their appetite, then lead them to discover more as the session progresses.
4. Give Them Ownership.
When kids choose what they’re going to do, they tend to work harder to see it accomplished. Be sure that kids get to make choices in your class. I promise they’ll do much better, be more successful, and be better behaved if given opportunities to make good choices.
5. Make It Interactive.
This generation is more connected than any other generation in history, yet statistics tell us that loneliness is at epidemic proportions. Allow groups to work together, and provide time for discussion and interaction.
6. Gamify Your Content.
That’s not really a word, but I like it. Boys and girls alike are spending hours each day playing on their favorite gaming consoles and apps. So, if you can’t beat ‘em (and we can’t), then join ‘em. Use familiar gaming concepts like points (score-keeping), competition (in moderation), badges, and levels to engage them in learning.
7. Build Relationships.
As the saying goes, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Everything we do should be umbrellaed by our desire for them to know the genuine love of Jesus who gave Himself so that they might have a right relationship with the Father and spend an eternity with Him. There is no greater love. There is no greater relationship. Model that for your students.