actions. Demand an adult level of work from each student.
Emphasize adult learning
techniques that demand hands on experience, and treat your students with respect. Regularly
emphasize the law of effect.
None of your students come to class wanting to fail. Use their basic desire to succeed to its
strongest advantage by striving to help them move from success to success. The adage that
success breeds success is certainly true in the learning environment. You must instill self-
confidence in students by providing reinforcement that encourages further learning. If students
are regularly unsuccessful, they will become frustrated and give up. Always be supportive,
interested, and encouraging.
Another common student characteristic is the ability to evaluate. Most students are quick
to form opinions. What do students evaluate? Everything; especially you, the instructor. They
can quickly detect lack of competence, enthusiasm, and sincerity. It has been said that your
students dont care how much you know until they know how much you care. You need to be
dedicated to doing your best to make each student successful in your class. Students will always
evaluate, so do not give them an opportunity for adverse evaluations.
Fallibility is a trait we all have--everyone makes mistakes. Remember that as an instructor
so that you dont lose patience when students make mistakes. Most of us take our knowledge
and skills for granted; we often forget the difficulties we had gaining those skills. Make sure
you have patience and provide encouragement as students move through the various stages of
competency. When minor failures occur, and they will, capitalize on them by turning them into
positive learning experiences. Nothing can stigmatize and remotivate students quicker than
ridicule or the implication that they are losers. You can be more empathetic toward learners
difficulties by reflecting on your own early trials.
Students have a high regard for instructors who show a sense of fair play. Either favoring
or picking on certain students degrades an instructor to the students. Treat all learners fairly,
equally, and as adults. Leaning on the expertise or insight of the gifted or experienced student
is easy, and isnt wrong. The secret is not to give the impression of showing certain students
favored treatment. Conversely, be careful not to give the impression of picking on or badgering
slower students. Treat all students by the same standards.
Recognition is a basic human need both in and out of the classroom, That characteristic
provides instructors with great opportunities to motivate students to learn. We are not talking
about special liberty, but merely the simple recognition for a job well done. Since techniques
vary, you must develop your own approach to recognizing special performance. Always give
recognition to students who respond to questions or contribute to classroom discussions. Be
sure to recognize students promptly and to a degree commensurate with their effort.
We have already touched somewhat on individual differences among learners. They are many
and varied, requiring versatility and insight on your part. The most obvious, of course, are the
Your major concerns in the area of physical differences, besides those for
sight and hearing impairments, are those dealing with physical prerequisites for training.