In today’s learning climate, instructors are under pressure to deliver critical, need-to-know content in an interesting way and in a short period of time. We sometimes get so focused on this that we overlook the need to show learners we are also interested in them as individuals and not just delivering content and getting through the material.
Here are seven ways to show learners you care about them:
- Address learners by name. Make an attempt to learn all learners’ names and speak to each one at least once every day of the course.
- Give as much individual attention as possible. Some learners come to class wanting individual attention from the instructor. It is important that instructors are open to this and be available for individual time before and after class.
- Socialize with learners during coffee, lunch, breaks, and before starting in the morning. This helps instructors connect with individual learners.
- Be open in discussing your interests about subjects outside of the course content. Instructors often find that they may share interests similar to the learners.
- Relate personal experience with the subject matter. Using personal examples and stories while presenting content can add a human touch that helps to connect with the learners.
- Visit small groups while they are working. Be friendly and available without being disruptive. Stay connected with learners even when they are busy working.
- Show a sense of humor and willingness to have fun (without going too far).
Using these seven tips will show learners that, in addition to being a skilled instructor, you are a genuine person with a sincere interest in their learning and in them as individuals.