In my lessons the student chooses the activity we look at. Some people love having a choice. Others find it causes great heartache. Here’s my 10-point plan to de-stress the choosing process:-
1. Bear in mind why you choose; if it’s relevant to you, you will pay more attention. Simple. Pick something that is relevant in your life.
2. If the something is not likely to happen again for another year or so, or even “never again”, then the lesson might not prove quite so useful.
3. You are allowed to choose things you have done before. In fact, it’s usually a good idea.
4. Quite a lot of things you cannot physically do in class, like swimming or cycling, can still be worked on usefully, with a little creativity.
5. Don’t neglect the perfectly ordinary things you do. Brushing hair. Scrubbing saucepans. Locking doors. Sending texts. Students tend to dismiss these as lesson activities, because they never think of them in daily life. That’s precisely the reason TO have a lesson on them. So that you DO think of them in daily life.
6. It doesn’t have to be a problem to get a good lesson out of it. If you’ve run out of problems, what is it you would like to improve?
7. Nothing is too small, trivial or mundane to make a good lesson out of.
8. Nothing is too large or complicated to make a good lesson out of.
9. Don’t wait until you get to class to think about it. Keep asking yourself during the week, ‘Would this thing I’m doing now be good to work on in my lesson?’ and if the answer is yes, write it down somewhere so you don’t forget it.
10. Is there something you shouldn’t choose for lessons? Yes. Anything you don’t care about and aren’t prepared to follow through with afterwards.
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