Know my subject. This is really important because the people listening to me will sense if I know my subject. It will show in my voice and in my body language. If I don’t know my subject, my voice and actions will not be as confident. My audience will not have confidence in what I am sharing with them. There is also something appealing about listening to someone who you feel really knows what they are talking about.
Organize what I am saying. If I jump around from one topic to another, it won’t make sense. If the audience can’t follow what I’m trying to tell them, they will shut me out. They will look at the things that I’m showing them but it won’t be as meaningful to them. I think it’s important to make sure that I link each new step to the previous step. If I don’t, sometimes it takes too much energy from the student to follow along so they give up.
Add personal stories. When I add personal stories that connect the subject to my life, it makes it more interesting. People love personal stories. It also makes it seem more real to audience. When we saw historical sites, they almost seemed fictional but if the ranger shared his own personal story about it, it made it interesting. I understand that they might not have lived during the time of the event, but even connecting it with when or how he learned about it or how it affected him made a difference. When I told my students where I was when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, they seemed in awe because to them, John F. Kennedy didn’t seem like a real person. Here was someone who had seen and heard him when he was alive.
Open to questions. Allowing questions is so important. If I don’t leave enough time for questions, it seems like I’m afraid that someone will ask me something I don’t know. If I don’t know the answer, the students respect me when I tell them I don’t know but I will try to find the answer for them.
I realized after being with these guides that being a teacher is just like that. Being a teacher is like being a tour guide. I am taking the students on a trip and I am their tour guide. When I teach them about history, I am taking them on a trip through time and I can either make it an interesting visit or make it a horrible time to endure so it is so important how I present the information. When I teach about a subject, I hope to be successful and if it takes being a tour guide, then I’m more than willing to do so.
Original image: 'YORK SIGHTSEEING BUS' http://www.flickr.com/photos/82887550@N00/2770915241 by: CARL SPENCER