Teaching Tools

Classroom Management for Teaching Artists

Classroom Management for Teaching Artists

Posted by: San Francisco Film Society


Tips and Tricks for Teaching Artists

Remember that your partnering classroom teacher is your best resource. He or she will have a sense of classroom dynamics, and may have strategies for getting students’ attention. Make time to meet with the classroom teacher to discuss best practices for engaging with students.

• Check in with classroom teachers at the start of the program about specific techniques that work for their students, and familiarize yourself with any existing routines or rules.

• Students all learn in different ways—be sure to incorporate all types of learning into your lessons. Instructions should be presented in both written and verbal formats.

• Ask follow-up questions that ensure students understand your instructions. Rephrase and clarify as needed. Never assume a pre-existing vocabulary, and instead explain concepts in multiple ways. Start simple, and elaborate as students demonstrate their readiness.

• Repeat, repeat, repeat.

• Have instructions available on a chalkboard or handout for students to refer back to. It’s helpful for students to know the plan.

• Hold students accountable and don’t make empty threats.

• Establish clear expectations, and depend on your partnering teacher in cases where disciplinary action is necessary.

• It is easier to move from a formal relationship to a friendly, mentor relationship than the opposite. Feel empowered to establish yourself as an authority figure you can always relax this as you and the students build trust with each other.

• Be aware of the many influences in a young adult’s life—social, cultural and biological—there are many forces that can potentially complicate a student’s willingness to engage with a lesson. Taking the time to consider students in a holistic way can provide a great amount of insight.


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