For example, they tell a powerful story that has the class in the palm of their hand. Then, upon finishing the story they have the students get a piece of paper out of their notebook before tying it all together with their lesson.
They knew that the piece of paper was going to be needed so they should have told the students to get it out before starting the damn story!
Every time you allow or add an unnecessary delay in your presentation you create yet another time that you will have to regain the engagement and momentum you lost. Those two minutes spent putting in and cueing up the video clip matter. Something as simple as waiting for the projector to warm up can be responsible for losing a portion of your audience.
Have a Tech-Helper
There will invariable be a student in your class who is good with computers and would love the responsibility of cueing up videos, controlling the Smartboard, and making sure the projector is ready when needed.
Keep Them From Mentally Checking Out
It’s not that I’m overly concerned about lost minutes. Engagement is the real loss. Every time I lose my students’ focus to unnecessary delay is another time I must go to the hard work of hooking them yet again.
To keep your students from mentally checking out, try to get all administrative activities out of the way before beginning your presentation. If the students will need any materials (their books, paper, pens, etc.), have them get them out before you start.
Make it Seamless
When you are forced to have a transition, try to make it as quick and seamless as possible.
Don’t ever let your lesson come to a complete halt.
When an interruption happens via the PA or a visitor, you can banter and interact in an entertaining way, or you can simply keep teaching.
Have a Runner / Messenger
I have a classroom job that I refer to as “messenger.” This is the person responsible for picking up any notices or doing office runs as need be. This is another job that students seem to enjoy doing. I rotate this responsibility often.
Hope that helps, that’s what this series is all about!
Teaching Tip Tuesday – great tips, tricks, lessons, and inspiration every week.