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How to Teach


You are called upon to teach. You may teach one pupil at a time, or an audience of fifteen hundred. You may teach Sunday School work, music, art, language, science, mechanical work—anything, in fact, that the human mind has ever learned.

In every subject there is a special method so far as details are concerned.

In all subjects there are certain common principles that should direct the teacher's speech.

Follow these and you will be successful:

1. Awaken interest in your particular work for the day. You can do this in a great variety of ways.

A particularly good way is to show the practical value of the work, by telling what good it is, how it can be used in making for health, or for happiness, or for any other good purpose.

2. Make a strong point of contact ivith knowledge already possessed by your pupils.

w That is, find a foundation on which you can build. There is certain to be some sort of previous knowledge possessed by your pupils that will serve as a step-stone for the new. Thus, if you should begin to teach chemistry to persons who had never studied it before, the proper approach could be made through what they already know about chemistry—that is, about iron, salt, gases, acids, dyes, oils, coal, sulphur, and scores of other items. Proceed from this familiar knowledge to something new. There is no possible subject that can be taught that does not have its point of contact in ordinary information.

Your success as a teacher depends upon your finding, not one point of contact, but numerous points of contact; not occasionally, but habitually, in your teaching. This is one of the very greatest secrets of successful teaching.

3. Make every step so clear that your dullest pupil can understand it if he pays attention.

•This will keep you from two of the greatest faults of teaching:

1. Teaching over the heads of your pupils.

2. Teaching too rapidly.

4. Teach in a "spiral system."

That is, come back again and again to points already taught, but add something new at every return.

Thus you give constant reviews, and constant examinations without seeming to do so. Your pupils remember all that you teach because you use it all every day.

5. Teach in accordance with a preconceived written plan.

This acts as a guide to your work. You know where your teaching is leading. Make your pupils conscious of your plan.

6. At the close of every lesson summarize the results. Emphasize exactly what you have taught.

7. Compliment your pupils on the progress they make.

Even a horse goes better for a friendly pat of the hand now and then.

8. Teach principles, methods, or processes, rather than details.

It is quite impossible to include all details, but it is possible to teach principles, methods, or processes that will include all details.

9. Avoid impatience, or fault finding.

Expect your pupils to be slow and to make errors, and

judge yourself by your skill in meeting difficulties.

10. Ask your pupils to put into immediate practical use whatever you teach them.

"Practice makes perfect."


You are master of certain knowledge. Think how you would speak if you were called upon to impart this knowledge to an audience of 500 people.


How to Make Good Recitations in
School or College


If you are a student in school or college, study is not the only requisite for success. You must learn how to express the knowledge you gain.

Here is a method that will help you to recite well under almost all conditions where mere memory is not the essential.

The instructor asks you a question, for example: "What are the characteristics of Edgar Allan Poe's stories?"

You have studied Poe, and know something about him and his work.

You should answer as follows:

1. Repeat the principal words of the question: "The principal characteristics of Edgar Allan Poe's stories are ." By repeating the principal words of the question you center your thought around the proper points, and are not likely to answer incorrectly.

2. Conclude your opening sentence by adding at least three words, phrases, or clauses that answer the question: "The principal characteristics of Edgar Allan

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