Reflections on “How Do They Conduct Class?”

This article addressed the topic of good teachers, and what it is that makes a good teacher successful. One thing the author talked about was creating a natural critical learning environment. This can be done through discussion, role-playing, or other techniques. The author also talked about getting the students’ attention and keeping it. Even in library instruction, I feel it is important to start with something fun that will grab the students’ attention and hold it. Students should see the library as a fun and interesting place, and not a boring one. Librarians should really think about what the students know and care about. Another point the author made was that the best teachers build their course backwards, deciding what students should be able to do by the end of the semester. Even though for an instruction librarian it is usually by the end of the instruction session instead of the end of the semester, the basic concept still applies. In my opinion the best lessons build on each other, with everyone going through each step of the process to get to where they need to be by the end.

In the article, the author also discussed in great detail qualities of good teaching. One of these qualities was good talk, meaning that the teacher is able to communicate orally in ways that stimulate thought. Another quality was warm language, meaning that the language used is involved and tells the whole story. The author also described a great teacher. The best teachers simply know how to make good explanations. This skill is particularly important for instruction librarians who are often explaining to students how to do something, such as use a new database. One of my favorite points made by the author was that great teachers know how to talk well, and they know how to get students to talk. I feel library instruction should involve discussion, and not just be the librarian lecturing to the students. There are several different learning styles, such as auditory or visual, and some students learn better by the lesson being interactive rather than just sitting and listening. Overall, I felt this article was really helpful in showing what a good teacher should be and applies to instruction librarians as well.


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