I was going through some old papers today and found this list I made in high school. I don't know if I was feeling especially great about classes I loved or especially frustrated with classes I didn't, but it's still an interesting list. There are one or two I don't completely agree with anymore, but most I think I could still get behind. (Photo credit - the Washington Post.)
PRACTICAL THINGS I HAVE LEARNED FROM SCHOOL AND TEACHERS
1. Never try to make someone write a satire on something they don't care about.
2. Fun and creativity are good. People remember the things they enjoyed learning. Keep the fun focused on the subject and it will make the subject fun, not just the experience.
3. Ethos, pathos, logos! It works in persuasive argument, why not in teaching?
4. Remember that your students do not have your experience, and just because you think YOU can get a good "why the author wrote the book" from an R.L. Stine doesn't mean that they can (or that you're right).
5. Be fair.
6. Encourage people to write what they know, and to expand what they know so they can write more (and more effectively).
7. Invest yourself in your students. People respond well to sincerity.
8. Yours is not your students' only class, and school is not their only activity. Give efficient homework whenever possible.
9. Hold debates. In any class. Over anything, from whether or not Napoleon was a child of the Enlightenment to why this particular mathematical method is better than that one in a given situation. People like to argue.
10. Hold to your due dates enough of the time that your students believe you when you give them, but don't be afraid to give extensions.
11. Don't be so serious!
12. Convince yourself first.
13. Hands on, hands on, hands on.
14. Make kids think. Don't just present the material. Make them ask questions.
15. Some kids will never respond. Try to reach them anyway. Don't treat them like a lost cause.