There is no such thing as bad student…only bad teacher.

-Mr. Miyagi

As I was trudging through 16 years of school, I never thought I’d be the one teaching. As an Indianapolis web design firm, we choose to provide training for all of our clients. We like small business owners to feel empowered to manage their websites to support their business objectives.

Training is a standard part of every web design project.  So as we are wrapping up the design phase, I always set a side a few hours for training on how WordPress. I’ve taught clients of all ages and skill levels. Working with this diverse group of students has taught me more than I could ever teach them. Here are just a few of the  things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Set ground rules and goals-Some people can become overwhelmed easily or (worse) attempt to camp out in your office for hours at a time. Spending 45 seconds at the beginning of the training allows me to reassure them and set reasonable expectations for what they can learn in one session. It also allows me to reinforce that there is a cutoff time for the end of the lesson. Learning to establish a timeline and ground rules has helped me not just in a training setting, but also when it comes to having productive meetings in general.
  • Don’t just talk…listen-It would be easy for me to spend the hour of training rifling off WordPress methods without taking a second to breathe…and odds are my students would absorb about 10% of whatever I was saying. I’ve found it is far more effective to stop every 5-10 minutes and genuinely ask if they have any questions. Once you start losing your students, if you don’t catch them, the rest of the training is pointless. Please trust me on this.
  • Gauge and adapt to learning styles-It would be easier if everyone processed information the same way, but they don’t. Each individual is different. They figure things out differently, learn at a different pace, and grasp some things easier then others. It’s the responsibility of each instructor to adapt their teaching style to the student. Luckily, I’m usually in a one-on-one setting, so adaptation is a bit easier and more straight forward. All I know is I have much more respect for my 5th grade teacher than I did three years ago. (Hi Mrs. Heller!)

Learning to teach has been one of my more rewarding experiences while at Roundpeg. Have you ever taught a class or student? What did you take away from the experience?

Need help? Contact Roundpeg, an Indianapolis web design company.