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How to teach interesting methods!


#1

Dear all

I have been thinking over the last few days upon my return from
Toledo just how to explain my teaching methods. That is in teaching
basic knowledge of diamond and stone setting to individuals who have
never set a stone in their lives. Not only on the complexity in
setting, but to prove that ANYONE can do this, given all of the
nuances in what to look for while forging ahead in this setting
exercise.

All it takes is a mentor/teacher who well understands and is able to
communicate to those who they are teaching and what level each
student is at. As for me, I subject myself into a "little alter-
state"
which lasts for a few seconds at a time. I then explain every single
process from describing each bur size, and or a file grade in great
descriptive detail…it is as if I am doing the setting myself but
through this deep mental process in using diagrams.

Before I start every diagram, I ponder just how the diagram should
be drawn either at a 3-way view and at what angle so the student can
visualize each step along the way of learning. I pause every few
minutes and search for the next step and while doing this, the
student writes on paper their own diagram for future reference
exactly copying my drawing.

I always use real-life stories on each setting subject, why? I let
them know how interesting each of these projects are and how they
were accomplished during my 51+ years at the bench.

With this little break of my deep mood, I go ahead and proceed
onwards with a new diagram or setting phase. By the end of the day,
or 8 hours later, all of ‘us’ are exhausted. All during this we take
many little breaks and ask questions on anything being covered to
this point. Imagine a 3 day class just covering only 6 setting
designs, but each subject is fully explained.

In closing, my enjoyment is seeing someone having a new career/skill
now in their hands.

Gerry Lewy…:>)


#2
I have been thinking over the last few days upon my return from
Toledo just how to explain my teaching methods. 

This might be slightly detouring from the topic, but as an ex high
school teacher, I thought it was worth mentioning something I
identified as the essence of good teaching. That is the ability to
"get" what a pupil/student doesn’t “get”, and be able to step back
and explain it at the correct level for their understanding.

When teaching a new topic to an individual or a group of students,
you have to gauge where to start and at what pace to go. A good
teacher must learn to read facial expressions and body language to
ascertain whether what you’re teaching is too basic and stuff they
already know, and if that’s the case, move onto the next stage.
However, once the pace has been established, it’s vital that you can
read the situation so that when you introduce and explain a new
concept/word/phrase, you can identify if your student/s don’t
understand what you’re teaching - as they often won’t tell you, as
they often don’t like to admit it and they end up hoping they’ll pick
it up later on - so you need to read the body language/facial
expressions which tell you to take a step back and go into more depth
until they understand the concept, before moving on.

I’ve seen teachers who can’t read the signs, and you see them losing
pupils in the class because they didn’t realise the pupils weren’t
understanding what they were teaching - and you can lose them for
good if that happens. A good teacher will see the "light bulbs"
switch off and be able to switch them on again. Obviously it’s more
complex in a group situation, but it’s possible if you momentarily
’lose’ one student, to set the rest of the group going on some brief
activity so that you can take some time to give a little one-to-one
tuition to that one student until they understand the concept and
they’ve caught up with the rest of the group - then you can move on
with the whole group.

It doesn’t matter what subject matter you’re teaching, but as long
as you can pick up on the signs and keep your student/s learning at
the correct pace, and teach them in a way they can understand it
well, then you’re an effective teacher.

Helen
UK
http://www.hillsgems.co.uk
http://helensgems.ganoksin.com/blogs/