There are a few different scenarios that involve teaching adults and one is the case where you are learning in a night school or program like that. For the sake of this, assume that I am talking about college students and graduate school students. Maybe we can say juniors and above because the teenagers are still dumb dumbs that you can shape like kids. Before you argue about the name calling, consider what they did last Tuesday night at 3 am with finals the next day and you can take that right on back. For adults, lessons can’t be like what they were in high school. For elementary school and middle school, your teachers are as much babysitters as they are educators. They are managing the attention of a bunch of lunatics. In high school, students start to get serious and explore, but they are still pretty inexperienced and naïve. Once they have had some life under their belts, they earn a different style of teaching because they are not going to respond to being treated like kids. The relationship between teacher and student becomes much closer to a mentorship, like what you look for in the workplace. Here are a couple of ways that teachers can reach adults in the classroom.
Relate To Them More
A lot of teachers pull the move of the cheesy rapping English teacher that is going to teach Shakespeare Hamilton-style. In fact, it was Hamilton that broke the stereotype of cheesy educational rap. If you want to reach your adult students, care about them. It does not work as well with kids that like Beanie Babies and Korean pop, but it works fine with adults who have adult interests. You would not believe how easy it is to win over college kids when you talk about drinking. Do not actually drink with them, but you can recognize adulthood.
Keep Things Convenient
I am going to use this space to get a little bit of a load off of my back from an experience that I had in college. I took a class that was taught by two graduate students, which should have been an indicator that I was in for some new ideas and ideals. It was a class that discussed media and the teachers decided that since the people in the industry are always on Twitter, we should also be on Twitter. They set up an account for the class and told the students to follow it. Instead of assigning homework in class, posting it on the campus portal, or emailing the students, the teachers decided that all assignments would be tweeted out. When were they tweeted out? Was it right after class? Was it consistently around the same time? Nope. It was when they got around to it. I was taken aside because I was the only one in class that did not follow the account, but I told them I was fine searching for the account when I needed to look about homework. It was a small victory, but it was satisfying. Be a good person and make assignments easy to find and finish. You are not innovative for doing things differently. You are just a jerk.