Time and experience have been some of the greatest teachers. I have come to learn that valuing the ONE in the room creates the atmosphere and hunger that every teacher hopes to see in the eyes of their students.

In 1999, I was asked to present my philosophy of education in one paragraph. At the age of 18, that was an overwhelming task. If provided with the same opportunity today, 17 years later, the words on the page would read quite different.

Reaching every ONE begins with preparation; thinking about the visual, auditory or kinaesthetic (VAK) learners in the room and how you are going to reach them all. Here are some tips that can help you consider each VAK student in the room when preparing lesson plans:

 

o    Try and keep the learning to 15-20 minute chunks; otherwise, you may begin to see people become disengaged in the learning.

o    Visual: If there are quotes, try and have them on the screen. If there are points that can be emphasised with YouTube videos or movie clips, embed them into your Keynote or PowerPoint. Perhaps even pull students to stand or come to the front to ask/answer questions.

o    Auditory: Rehearse speaking at a pace that allows people to breathe; You don’t want it to feel as though you are trying to cram five weeks of lectures into one. Also, try and choose a playlist of music that can create a fun and energetic mood as people arrive, are on break or are leaving. Atmosphere is everything.

o    Kinaesthetic: Involve your students in writing on the board (some students need only to be engaged by DOING a task). Being well supplied with experiential games relevant to the learning is always a great way to engage the kinaesthetic and even the logical learners (if the debrief questions are prepared well). A fun resource that provides ice-breakers, connecting activities and team games with debrief questions, is 36 Team Building Games by David Greenberg.

 

I hope these tips will help you as much as they have helped me in creating interactive lesson plans that never leave a dull moment in the room and still see outcomes achieved.