Today I taught Msufini again with Princely as my translator. The first half of the lesson was rough, but the second half was the best I’ve had with them.
The lesson itself was on the Power of Persuasion. I broke the lesson into two parts: attentive listening and simplicity (two key things to keep in mind when presenting a persuasive argument). So I spoke to the students about this and in the first five minutes, I noticed eight kids in the back of the class sleeping. Now, this is the class with 200 students so I shouldn’t have been discouraged, but I felt disrespected. It was an optional class, so I did not understand the logic behind showing up just to sleep right under my nose. I gave the whole lesson, but I received minimal feedback from the class and was unsure if any of my words were sinking in.
After the lecture, I opened up an activity. I began by calling out the kids who were asleep by telling them they should probably wake up and stretch out because they would have to get up and move in a minute. We began the activity, a full group debate activity, and only a few students were interested until I turned the topic to football. Then they were ALL participating saying this and that, ooing and awing at the arguments and rebuttals being shot.
I closed on this lesson and answered a fantastic student question at the end. I related my answer to the soccer players we were debating about and could feel the students clinging to my words.
Today I learned the importance of my own lesson: in order to persuade, you must read your audience. My mission today was to persuade my large and rather unenthusiastic class to listen to my lesson. As I begin to understand my audience’s personality and desires, status and points of reference, I am able to communicate with them more effectively and persuade them to listen to my teachings.
Today the two most effective methods of teaching were the incorporation of the Bible and football (soccer). I’ll keep this in mind as I plan my lesson for next week.