By now you should know what topic you are teaching and how you want to teach it. The next step is figuring out HOW much to include in your class.
One of the most common mistakes new teachers do is either include to much into their class ( more common) or not enough ( not as common).
By the time your ready to teach something you know about, your probably of a fountain of information on the subject. Do Not Try To Cram All That Information Into 1 Class.
This is also why I recommend figuring out the format of your class before your scope. The amount and type of information is going to be different depending on the type of class you are teaching.
- If your teaching a hands on class, you are going to want to focus on technique and less on documentation and history
- If you are teaching a lecture class your going to want to focus on history, documentation, and where they can go for more information ( or to learn how to do it)
With my History of Drinking Class – I cover ALOT of time frame. I start with the invention of alcohol and move quickly through coffee. I include a general history, leave out specific dates, and give our generics. I also have a handout with all the dates and an assistant who gives out samples of the drinks. I specifically don’t go into recipes or specifics as there just is not enough time.
In my humors for brewing class I have over 27 samples I pass around KNOWING we will not get to all them. I just pick and choose which samples we play with.
I will be teaching 2 new classes at Pennsic this year, and will mostly be using them as examples through the rest of the tutorials.
- A persona class that is going to be an “interactive” lecture series.
- A shoe class that is going to be a show & tell lecture series.
For the SCOPE of the persona class I want to give them the basics of simple ways they can incorporate persona based items into their everyday activities. Talking very very basics here. As this is a basic’s class, I will make sure to include a handout for further information. If there is time at the end, I will have additional information ready for the next steps.
To determine your own scope. Write down the one thing you want them to learn. Now create a list of bare minimum items they need to learn/know/absorb in order to learn that item.
For the shoe class, I want them to learn the generic look of the shoe for their style persona. For my list- they need to know the general “look” and shape of different shoes styles from Roman to Cavalier so that they can shop around Pennsic for the right shoes ( or even their local thrift store) That’s a lot to cover, so I won’t be going into construction or details. I will be giving them handouts that will include places they can go for specific’s, details, and how to learn how to make them themselves.
Some Helpful Hints:
- Create a list and divide it into 3 parts- The information they MUST know in order for them to do the project or to get them hooked so they will want to learn more. 2. The information that it would be good for them to know ( you can cover this if you have extra time).3. Places where they can go for more information if they love the subject.
- For hands on projects, time how long it takes you do the item yourself. Now times it by 3 or 4. That’s how long it will take you to teach it. It takes me 5 minutes to wrap a foot for a cast for shoe making- It takes me 15-20 minutes to teach it. 5 minutes for me to demonstrate the action, 5 minutes to answer questions, 10 minutes to watch them try to do it.
- When timing your talks or lectures remember- You will 99.9% start late due to classroom change over. Deduct 5 minutes. Finish up with 10 minutes to spare so you can clean up, get your students out of the class, and the class ready for the next teacher. Allow 5 minutes of Q&A at the end ( as well as 5 minutes floating for when people want to ask questions in the middle). That leaves 35 minutes of teaching/talking time.
- If you find that you have to much information for a single class- that’s ok. You can make it a series or a breath track. I only teach my shoe making class at Gulf Wars because there is to much information to cover in 1 or 2 classes at Pennsic. You can have classes that build on each other ( ie they have to take each one in order) or you can have many classes that cover different aspects of the same topic ( breadth)