The Bookish and Unpractical Lesson Will Fail

One of the first requisites in good teaching is, that the lesson will address itself to the actual experience and needs of the learner, and not to any imaginary experience or need.  We cannot fulfill this condition unless we make it our business to know what are the real dangers and temptations, the weaknesses, and the wants of the children whom we have to teach.

Here are some things to avoid:
  • Anything unfamiliar, artificial, or sermonizing in your language
  • Fake tone in your voice
  • Illustrations that are too bookish and unpractical
  • Virtues and vices that don't relate to your students
  • Talking over their heads
  • Not being familiar with the real lives which children lead
Any of the above traits will cause your students to lose interest in what you say.

So, what will children listen to?  A teacher who has ample and accurate knowledge of the subject, and skill in applying it to the case of children.  In the eyes of students, this gives the teacher credibility and the right to be heard.  It will enable the teacher to gain the ear of the class.

Adapted from "The Art of Teaching," by Joshua Fitch