Tag Archives: teaching

The Art of Agile Learning Events 101: Thoughts on Good Teaching

Teaching is an art form. Good teaching requires the softer personal skills more than hard facts and knowledge. In fact, great teaching requires consistent learning on the part of the instructor. That’s part of being agile. Every class and every new group of students, whether you’re teaching Scrum, SAFe or Kanban, is an opportunity for a teacher to learn and perfect his/her art.

by valerie senyk

The points discussed here are not an exhaustive list; they are a starting point for anyone struggling with figuring out how to train/teach anything agile – or anything, for that matter!

First impressions go a long way, so be at your best. Smile and warmly welcome your participants. Smiling helps people feel more comfortable. Try to make eye contact with as many as possible. Your introduction should be energetic. It’s a lot like writing a short story or news article – the reader’s attention has to be captured in the opening lines, or the story goes unread. When you are teaching, it does not matter if you happen to be tired or had a fight with your spouse. Participants  have paid to be there, and no matter what your personal circumstances are, you are there to deliver.

It’s a given that you know your subject and you know what to cover in the class. Do your best to state important ideas and principles with clarity. The essence of teaching and learning is communication. Consider this statement:

One of the chief attributes of a great teacher is the ability to break down complex ideas and make them understandable.”https://www.fastcompany.com/44276/attention-class-16-ways-be-smarter-teacher

Recounting relevant stories is one way to illustrate complex ideas, and the more personal your story is, the more effective it will be with your listeners.

How do you respond to tough or challenging questions? The same web article continues with this thought: “Sometimes the best answer a teacher can give is, ‘I don’t know.’ Instead of losing credibility, she gains students’ trust, and that trust is the basis of a productive relationship.” Acknowledging what you don’t know shows that you’re still learning. No one is perfect or knows everything, and the more you can be yourself, the more relatable the students will find you. Remember, too, that teaching is a dialogue, so listen carefully to your students when they have a question or comment.

Since you don’t need to be worried about not knowing all the answers, that gives you more opportunity to use humour, even to laugh at yourself, if it’s warranted. The Canadian Humber Centre for Teaching and Learning places great emphasis on this aspect. Humour is ranked as one of the top five traits of effective teachers. Laughter helps everyone relax, even the instructor, and gives the learning experience a more agile feel. Laughter definitely enriches the learning experience.

Be passionate about what you are teaching. Expertise is not enough. Passion is infectious, like a fever that your students can catch. When you care about your subject, your students will also care. Your passion also helps you change up the rhythm of your speech, so that sometimes your speech will be more emphatic, and that helps create focus in certain areas of your content and greater interest overall.

Now for the gold: it’s not about you; it’s about them. Your focus should be almost 100% on your students (and you will improve as a teacher as a result). Certainly the material you’ve prepared is important, but your preparation should be such that your awareness need not remain there. Be aware of every response;  read body language constantly. Keep them with you every step of the way. If you  love what you’re doing, and make every effort to communicate, you will not be concerned whether you yourself are doing well; you will be concerned that THEY are doing well. This is the best secret to good teaching, and will enable you to learn so much from those that have come to learn from you.

 


Affiliated Promotions:

Try our automated online Scrum coach: Scrum Insight - free scores and basic advice, upgrade to get in-depth insight for your team. It takes between 8 and 11 minutes for each team member to fill in the survey, and your results are available immediately. Try it in your next retrospective.

Please share!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Berteig
Upcoming Courses
View Full Course Schedule
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$1095.00
Dec 12
2018
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1395.00
Dec 19
2018
Details
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® (ACSM)
Online
C$2495.00
Jan 4
2019
Details
Certified Agile Leadership® (CAL1)
Toronto
C$2200.00
Jan 10
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Jan 15
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Jan 18
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Jan 22
2019
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Jan 24
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Ottawa
C$930.75
Jan 30
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Jan 30
2019
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMPI)
Ottawa
C$1440.75
Jan 31
2019
Details
Leading SAFe® with SA Certification (+FREE Scaling Workshop)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Feb 5
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Feb 6
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Feb 12
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Feb 19
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Mar 6
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Mar 12
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Mar 14
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Mar 25
2019
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Mar 26
2019
Details
Kanban Management Professional® (KMP II)
Toronto
C$1355.75
Mar 28
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Apr 2
2019
Details
Leading SAFe® with SA Certification (+FREE Scaling Workshop)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Apr 16
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Apr 17
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
May 8
2019
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I)
Toronto
C$1440.75
May 15
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Jun 4
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Jun 5
2019
Details
Leading SAFe® with SA Certification (+FREE Scaling Workshop)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Jun 18
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Jul 3
2019
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Jul 4
2019
Details
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM)
Toronto
C$1185.75
Jul 9
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Jul 11
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Jul 30
2019
Details
Kanban System Design® (KMP I)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Jul 31
2019
Details
Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO)
Toronto
C$1440.75
Aug 1
2019
Details
Team Kanban Practitioner® (TKP)
Toronto
C$930.75
Aug 28
2019
Details