When having a lecture with a student, there a lot of things that you have to keep in mind to ensure that you keep your lecture positive: there are the principal pointers we have to give emphasis to, our own diction and pronunciation of words, the student’s capability in understanding, and so on. But do we include in our teaching routine the need to keep the lecture on the positive side? True, this is something that we usually set aside without knowing it. One might even ask if it is really necessary. Is it? The answer is yes. Surprising? Not at all.
The mood is an important aspect of teaching for it affects both the teacher and the student. If you are not in the mood, you might not perform at your best. If your student is not in the mood, he will have difficulty in understanding you. There can be many factors why the mood of a lecture might be down: maybe the student is not interested in the current topic, or both parties have serious personal problems, or stress has taken a toll due to academic pressure or anxiety at work. Yes, the problems might be things that are beyond our control, but we can do something to tone them down. How? By keeping the lecture positive.
Have confidence, not only in your ability to teach but in your student’s capability to learn and apply what he learned. As a teacher, develop a positive view of your student. How is this significant? Because your confidence in what they can do will boost their self-esteem, which in turn will push them to do more. If you really trust your student’s ability, it will reflect in your tone of voice; you will be surprised in the beneficial effects you will observe. This will also help if you need to correct a mistake. Make sure that you set things straight in a way that still shows respect and be motivated by your eagerness to help, not by impatience or irritation. Always reconsider what effects your comments will create. If your correction is constructive, you will avoid degrading your student.
When appropriate, you might show wholesome interest in your student’s life aside from his education. This could be done when you have already been teaching him for a period of time long enough to be considered fit for a closer connection. Of course, there are limits, and this is where we use our tactical thinking to avoid walking the line.
The main point is for the student to have a positive outlook both in life and in his education. True, this is not in the scope of our job, but in this impassive world around us, care is needed. You might not know, but a simple act that shows your student your friendly interest in his life might not only help him educationally but also personally.
How about the conclusion of your session? How do you end the lecture? Is it upbuilding? More often than not, what you say last is what your student will remember the longest. After a review of the main points you tackled, you might commend them for how well they did that session, or how you think they will reach a great distance in the road of success. This might be a small thing for us, but for those who hear those words, it could be something they will remember by when they’re down.