There are many instances where you could be teaching a skill to an individual: reading, math procedures, computer skills, mechanical skills, crafts, cooking or tutoring your children at home.
I have taught many skills to individuals of all ages. I have tutored elementary school students, secondary students and college students. In additioin I have taught individual skiils such as: CPR, Marksmanship to Korean soldiers, leather braiding, woodcarving, metalwork and knot tying.
In order to instruct individuals you need to develop a logical process that takes into consideration the characteristics of what you are teaching as well as the needs of the student.
Here is a technique that I have used successfully for many years to instruct individual students.
- The instructor needs to analyze the task or subject matter and break it down into small individual steps or units and arrange them in a logical sequence. Test the sequence to make sure it works as expected.
- Student and instructor should be seated side by side facing in the same direction. This way, the student gets the same view of the task, procedure or subject matter as the instructor.
- If the instructor is right handed, put the student to the instructor’s left. If the instructor is left handed put the student to the instructor’s right. This arrangement gives the student the best view of the procedure or subject matter with the least obstruction by the instructor’s hands and arms.
- The instructor should now demonstrate the individual steps of the skill or procedure by the numbers: No. 1, No 2 …… The instructor should explain each step as he or she moves along. Encourage the student to stop the instructor if any step is unclear. The instructor can redemonstrate, reexplain or review the material.
- After demonstrating and explaining the procedure or material by the numbers, the instructor should demonstrate the process slowly, moving through the steps without explanation. Again, encourage the student to stop the instructor for clarification.
- After this, the instructor should demonstrate the procedure at normal speed.
- The next step is to have the instructor and student switch positions. The instructor should be to the left of a right handed student or the right of a left handed student.
- Have the student carry out the procedure or process by the numbers under the instructor’s supervision.
- Next have the student demonstrate the process slowly without comment by the instructor. The instructor should stop the student if he or she observes an error..
- Finally, have the student demonstrate the process at normal pace. Once the student has mastered the process or subject matter he or she can practice to develop speed and efficiency.
- If the student has not mastered the process or material at this point, the instructor should return to step A.
The process may seem a bit cumbersome at first but with practice it will become very effective.