Activity Feed Discussions Blogs Bookmarks Files

Ask a question from your peers to help you in your professional work. Seek different points of view on a topic that interests you. Start a thought-provoking conversation about a hot, current topic. Encourage your peers to join you in the discussion, and feel free to facilitate the discussion. As a community of educators, all members of the Career Ed Lounge are empowered to act as a discussion facilitator to help us all learn from each other.

age diversity

I am instructor in a rehab school,most of my students are spanish,I have to spend more time with them in reading, to make sure they did unstand what we had just cover.

Mission Impossible

As i continue my journy into this exercise, I feel my job isnt as easy as we think. My students majority are rehabs. And when the students lack a solid education background, it seems almost impossible to keep up with him or her. To make my point clear, i find students with multiple variable that doesnt my make my teaching easy. For instance: 1. note taking. I give handout and class lecture,it becomes difficult. Imagine the student trying to write every word by word of what I am saying. Also, they lack of vocabulary, and slow hand writing. 2. language barrier. (dont know if this falls into this chapter). I am teaching back and forworth spanish and english. And on top of that, books are in english. And computer operating system in school is in english. Need Help and Feedback from others teachers. Thank you.

Age Diversity + Disabilities

As an instructor in a Rehab School, I face on a day to day basis with students of 55-60 year old ages. I find it extremely challenge and difficult to teach them since they have very little educational background, and have dissabilities. The things they learn, might take them a great amount of time to pick it up. But again, I only have couple of hours to teach them the topic. The next day, they will forget what they have learned. I have no problem, going over the subject with them, but I have a syllabus to follow, so time is critical. Each module will cover about 20-30 chapters for two week period. On top of Memory Retention, many of these students suffer pain and other problems at home. Please, I will like to hear from others what you guys will do, and can do to improve and speed up the classes.

Calling on Non-Volunteers

Some students (even very good ones) seem so shy that they never hold up their hands when you ask a class question. If you call on this student and he/she doesn't know the answer, you risk turning them off for good. On the other hand, if they do supply an answer, you have created participation. One tactic (as mentioned in our lesson) would be to ask "opinion" type questions in this situation, since no right/wrong is involved. In my experience, however, shy students often answer "yes" or "no" or "not sure" to wiggle out of having to say something. Any other ideas?

Dressing the Classroom

A key element in retaining students is to "touch the career" - to constantly remind students that what they are doing has reason and value. The classroom itself can be used for this purpose. Ideally, every time the student steps across the threshold he should feel he is IN the career. In some fields (culinary, auto mechanics, etc.) this is done for you since classes are taught in kitchens, shops, etc. But how do you dress a bookkeeping class? One instructor made posters of tax forms, balance sheets, W9's, etc. and hung them around the walls. For a class on employment interviewing, another instructor moved in an executive desk, small rug and applicant's chair.

success breeds success

I find that the best weapon against student frustration is success. Any success, even in the smallest thing, gives a degree of confidence and establishes a positive mental "template" for future activity. I have made it a rule for myself that every day, every student should leave the classroom having accomplished something. Towards that end, I make an initial student application as simple as possible, model it thoroughly, even run a rehearsal before the real thing. Once they have had initial success, however, later applications are provide progressively less help and require more original work.

Class time -is it a motivator?

Are students more easily motivated by having early classes - say 6 AM to 2 Pm or by having classes begin at 8am? What is the "best learning time" as a means of promtoting motivation and retention. Differentiating between the physical aspect and the psychological aspects of the learning climate- what are some of the stressors assocaited with early classes or late classes?

Keeping yourself motivated

I dont know how many times I have seen teachers at the beginning of their course start strong but wane off and end a course like it was a burden to them. I myself have been guilty of that as well from time to time. REFOCUS is an excellent way to keep myself excited about going into a classroom. Is there any other literature you can recommend specifically for teachers?

My student body

When i teach our vocational courses the students tend to be in the age 25-35 group. Most are family men/women that just got out of work to come into class, and most importantly paid good money to be there. Occasionally i get the younger students in the class mixed in with them and usually have their parents paying their tuition. I tend to notice that the older students that paid out of their own pocket are more focused than the ones that didnt have to pay for themselves (which seems logical). Would it be wrong to cater to my older students a bit more than my younger ones in class that fit my description above?

Approachability is a must but happens when...

I strongly beleive that teachers are sometimes looked at as confidants to a student. I dont know how many times i have been approached by a student with concerns...whether they are classroom-related or personal. I tend to draw a line with the personal stuff like "sorry i was not really into the class today, i had a bad argument with my girlfriend earlier and i don't know what to do about her." What are your ways to spin that so you dont sound like you dont care but to not get involved with their personal issues?

Life Experience

Life Experience Teaching at Career College is wonderful because most students bring their life experience to school which helps others with lack of experience. Some of my students have strong work experience that applies in my class. I take advantage of that by creating groups and name a student leader when working in projects. The student leader will help the rest of them and I just walk around to make sure they understand the material. It's amazing how useful that life experience can be if the instructor can take advantage of it.


Focus Focus is an important part of an instructor. I've been teaching for 6 years but I started to pay special attention to material preparation for just about two years. Now I think the students learn quicker because lectures and hand outs are ready when I get to the classroom. I also pay close attention to the course syllabus that way I don't miss subjects at all.

Cultural Diversity

It's a real challenge to me when I face students with learning disabilities especially in reading (dyslexia). I make them write the sentence or paragraph that I want them to learn for a few times then they get some ideas out topic. Can any of you advice me with another teaching method?

Is it unprofessional for an instructor to use money as a motivator?

Occassionally in class I'll have a student that is a little more difficult to motivate than others and I'll begin to mention what type of capitol they can earn in our profession. Is this wrong ?

Backfiring Surprise...

Dr. Meers, In numerous courses I have taught, I've restrained myself from using the element of surprise because of fear that it could backfire and completely cause the wrong effect. As a computer support instructor, I would find it fitting that computer technicians in training would benefit from ocassionally being surprised. For instance, one time I planned a drill that would have a student perplexed, encountering a computer that is malfunctioning after it was working perfectly fine before the coffee break. I've done this drill a few times with mixed success. One time, the students were able to succesfully fix the problem... another, they proceeded erroneously and even caused irrepairable damage. Yes, there was a learning experience, but I do not know to what extent it was positive or it was discouraging. After the incident I tried being supportive and debrief the students in order to ensure they understood what happenned... nevertheless, I had doubts as to whether reattempt to continue this approach. Are there any suggestions, in your perspective, that can provide some insight into delivering a "safer" positive effect while using a high impact surprise?

Having students show up for every class...

Sometimes I feel students generally feel very well about the course; nevertheless, there are ocassions where any given class has interesting lessons, and some that are not as appealing. In the past I have certain students that despite having this positive attitude of enjoying the course, ask me what objective will be covered in the next meeting... I would say 4 out of 5 times the student takes the topic into consideration and may decide not to show up for the next meeting (especially if the current class session maybe has been exhausting.) Often I may believe this is because the student may presume that the upcoming lesson is of questionable importance or maybe finds it better to be read about it and skip the lecture. What might be a good way for motivating students to willingly attend class, assuming that not every class day is as exciting? (I CAN make them show up if I were to enforce evaluations every meeting and have strict attendance policies... yet I would like the students to actually want to come to class.) Any feedback or suggestions on this will be of great value! :-)

Instrinsic and extrinsic concerns

Hello Gary, I've considered using an initial student interview to find out what the situation of each student is, in order to better address their needs. In this initial interview, I may ask question about their personal situation, for example, I might ask students during this interview process, if they have special situations, such as being a single parent, or if they work, and can't get here on time. Whatever the situation, it gets it into the student profile. This way I have it on file from the begining, and can evaluate options, or alternatives that can be used to insure success for the for the remainder of the course. What do you think? Andrés


I think that it was great to see the mention of Disabilities. I believe it is very important, as an educator, to be able to recognize the signs of disabilities - physical or mental - as most students are not aware they may have them.

How do you motivate students that come from working all day from 9am-5pm...

when they are exhausted physically and mentally? When teaching in the evenings...I find it necessary to give more breaks for coffee and leisure in order to ensure that they maintain their ideal level of attention span for maximum retention.

Is it recommended to create games to enhance learning when teaching a topic that...

doesn't exactly generate excitement or enthusiasm?