Teaching Resources

Tips Sheets

Sample Lesson Plans

Note: Splash classes are short (1-2 hours) single sessions, while HSSP classes run over a 7-week period.

Can't decide what to teach?

Check out some of our past programs' class listings...

Or check out this page for more ideas and information, including a list of supplies ESP has available, class requests from past students, and rules about potentially objectionable content.

General Advice

In general, your goal should be to get students to learn something. Whether it involves academic material, demonstrations, activities, discussion, or anything else you desire is up to you. Regardless, here's some advice to help you accomplish your goals:

Presentation

Teaching a class for the first time can be really daunting, but here are a few tips to keep in mind that help students understand the material.

  • Make sure to be loud, clear, and make eye contact with your students.
  • Try to modulate your voice to the situation--when you sound enthusiastic, your students will feel the same!
  • If your class is longer than an hour, try to take a break around halfway through. It's hard for both you and your students to stay focused on the same topic for so long.

Organization

Whether it's a one-hour Splash class or an 8-week HSSP class, you should make a syllabus and lesson plans for your class. These don't have to be detailed—just an ordered outline of what you expect to cover is enough to keep yourself on track. There's a few example syllabuses from various programs in the resources section at the bottom of this page.

Start off by planning out the material that you want cover, and then determine how you want to divide it up (for multi-week classes, make sure to think about what makes a good breaking point before continuing in the next session). Then, fill in your outline with the more specific points you want to cover.

Make sure you don't over-fill your syllabus! However, it's also a good idea to plan out extra points so that you can fine-tune your class based on students' interests, and have material around in case you have extra time—but don't rely on this. Plan your time well and don't rush!.

Keeping your students in the loop is a good idea as well: build anticipation for exciting classes if you're doing a long course, or preview the fun things they'll see if they stick around long enough for your entire Splash class.

Communication

Communicating with students is obviously your most important task. To do this in an effective and exciting manner, you'll probably need some mixture of lecturing, handouts, boardwork, projected images, and conversation.

Communicate important information in more than one way, if possible. When explaining concepts in math or science, be wary of PowerPoint—many teachers find it's easier to explain something clearly as they write it out, rather than reading it off a slide. Remember: material that you’re very comfortable with may be completely new to students. Explaining new ideas in multiple ways is very effective, and students are happiest when they understand what's going on.



Last modified on April 25, 2018 at 10:26 p.m.