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What we are going to look at now are some basic teaching principles. The role of the teacher is to make sure that everyone is involved in the class, they have fun, and also they reach the common goal of ensuring that everyone has learned and met all of the assessment criteria, learning outcomes and objectives laid down for the course.

What you need to do is make sure that the learning environment is productive, that students have all that they need to ensure they learn things correctly. We need to make sure all the ground rules have been imposed and negotiated and everyone follows them. We need to make sure that we can identify people's personalities and jobs, what their role is and what they actually want to get out of the course, and much of this can be achieved by completing an icebreaker at the start of the lesson.

We need to make sure we motivate people so that they can learn the maximum amount. It is important to work as a group to ensure that everyone is progressing towards a common goal of attaining the necessary grade required. We also need to make sure that the learners are satisfied with the course.

When we are planning a new class, there are lots of questions we need to ask ourselves. One of them is, "What do the learners already know?" If you know what their current level of training is and their existing knowledge in the subject, then this will help you as you develop the course. It may be that your learners already know quite a lot about the subject, maybe you are doing a refresher course, so you can adapt your teaching style to make sure you don't go over things they know, but you refresh it, you revise it, and then you move on to all the new subjects.

You also need to know what you want them to learn. You need to ensure that you have all the assessment criteria laid down. You need to know exactly the subjects and topics, you need to have a scheme of work and individual session plans and ensure that you have all necessary resources for the session you are going to be teaching. You need to know why it is important for them to learn individually or as part of a group.

If you know why they need to learn this subject, then it is much easier to produce a relevant and effective lesson, and therefore be effective in your teaching. You also need to know how you are going to do it, what examples you are going to use, what if any practice, what equipment you may need. Are you going to show a video? All these things will affect the way you actually teach and plan the lesson. You also need to know how you are going to sequence the lesson and this should be included on the session plan for both the lesson and the learning outcomes and objectives of the individual subjects that you are going to be running.

The final area is assessment. How are you going to assess the learners? Are you going to be doing formal, written tests? Are you going to be doing continual assessments? Is there a practical test? Or is there no main assessment at all? Maybe you are going to be doing it in a secondary way, perhaps later in the lesson. So consider these assessment methods so that you know exactly when everyone has met the assessment criteria, and then when you can move on to the next subject.

We also need to create a safe working environment, considering the Health and Safety at Work Act and making sure that you follow all the health and safety rules, including fire safety, first aid provision and also that you ensure a supportive and effective learning environment. We want to make sure that all learners on the course feel that they are part of it and that they understand things fully. You do not want people worrying about things like what time the course finishes and are they going to be able to pick up their children in time. Try and take all these concerns away by telling them all the course information well in advance, and making sure you are approachable at all times.

If you make the environment of where you teach as comfortable as possible, your learners will be far more likely to come and speak to you in lunch breaks or coffee breaks, if they have got any worries or concerns. If there are any areas that you feel may be an issue for someone, take them to one side, have a chat with them and see if you can address these problems. Make sure you identify their barriers and worries to learning and adapt if you are able to, because the more barriers you can take away, the more effective your teaching will be.

During your teaching, you need to encourage both discussion and questions. If your group is discussing something you may need to moderate to make sure that the discussion stays on track and doesn’t descend into an unproductive argument. If the discussion is not really heading in the direction you want, you may need to steer it by asking questions or adding in a few extra bits and pieces, to move things in a more positive direction. Encouraging people to ask questions at the right time can be really good.

When you have a question directed to you, maybe rather than answering it straight away, maybe open it up to the group and that can create a discussion, so that the rest of the group can see if they can come up with an answer. If they are heading in the wrong direction, you can always steer them back into a more positive one, but then once you have done that, make sure you address the person who initially asked the question and make sure that they have been fully answered.

When you are teaching, there are lots of tools and resources you can use, things like the flip chart, the whiteboard, or it may be you are working with PowerPoint as a prompt, as you embellish the information. You may be using a group exercise, you may have examples that you can show people. You may have a practical, experiments, and all sorts of things are there to help you deliver the best lesson possible.

You will often find that if you can use a small gadget or an electronic item, this will make the lesson more fun and interactive. Sometimes a beach ball with written questions on it, that can be thrown around the class. Have a look at your given subject and the different ways that you can make your lessons more interesting, think outside the box. You don’t want a lesson where people just sit there and listen to you, you want lots of interaction, you want to make sure the group are doing activities, talking about the subjects, asking questions, that's how they will best learn.

Applying real world scenarios or examples will help make the subject useful to the learners. Make sure you find out what they need to know within the courses that you are teaching, depending on where they will be using it. Another very good tool you have at your disposal are the actual learners within your group. Peer learning can be a very important tool, as people on the course may have real life experiences that you can call on to improve in your lesson.

Obviously you don't want to be picking on someone or get someone to talk about something that is emotional and upsetting for them, but there may be people who can apply the information you are teaching in a real-world scenario, which can help the rest of the group. If someone already has a lot of experience in a given subject, then why not get them involved in the lesson, why not get them helping and sharing their views. This ensures that it’s not just you saying something, it's someone else in the group backing you up with a real life example.

When planning lessons, there are two things that we need to look at, teacher centred and learner centred activities. Teacher centred are things that you control and learner centred things that your learner needs to do.

Now let us have a look at these in a little bit more detail. Teacher-centered examples, things where the learners are dependent on the teacher, are things where you need to do formal lesson planning. You know exactly what's in the course, how the assessment is carried out, the actual characteristics of how you are going to be teaching, the final evaluation, and exactly how people are going to be tested or assessed at the end of the course.

With the learner-centered side of things, this is really down to the individual. We need to make sure that they fully understand, comply and get involved with the lesson. They must be motivated so that they can best benefit from the course, the environment should be relaxed, so that everybody is involved, they respect others and cooperate with the lesson. They also need to be involved in the planning and assessment side, they need to understand it so they can then comply with all of the things laid down by the teacher. A lot of the work that your learners will do is to actually evaluating and assessing, as they work through the course they are going to continually assess and therefore continually learn. It is your job as a teacher to make sure that they fully understand every step of the process, so make sure you identify the individual learning needs of everyone on your course.