10 P words that will instantly make you a better teacher.

I thought about writing some clever introduction, but you know what’s better than that?

What you came here to read..

So on with the show:

Pacing

Talk fast…then talk slow. Then stop right in the middle of a sentence and let the room hang in silence.

When a speaker varies their pace, it makes what they are saying much more interesting.

 

Performing

Teachers should teach…but at times, teachers should ACT!

Be a performer. Be over the top and super dramatic.

If you act like a king, then puff out your chest, and say things that a king would say. (Not all of it has to even be from the lesson.)

 

Producing

Give your story some production value.

Bring a prop. Or even better…dress up!

Bring some sound effects. Bring a friend to help you act out the story.

Think of ways to add a little “theatre” to your lesson. You don’t moving lights and a proper stage to be a producer.

Just work with what you have. It’s guaranteed to make you a better (and more interesting) teacher!

 

Procuring

Find something in every lesson that the kids might not know.

Maybe procure a fun historical fact. Find something in the story that most people don’t talk about, and talk about how much it helps the story. Look up how old the characters in your story probably were.

Little tidbits of fun info like this, make a better lesson. (Not to mention, make the story sound more “life like” and less like a “Bible” story.)

 

Preventing

Stop distractions in their tracks.

If someone is purposely stealing attention from your story, like 2 people talking to each other while you are teaching, just STOP.

Yes, stop right in the middle of your sentence, or in the middle of your lesson and wait for them to notice.

Once you have their attention ask them to keep their attention on you, and go immediately back into your story.

This tactic works…really well.

Especially when it’s obvious to the kids, you will wait in silence for as long as it takes.

 

Popping

Change the volume of your voice dramatically at one point in your lesson.

Perhaps at the moment of greatest tension, when the preferred outcome is most in danger, speak VERY LOUDLY.

Give your lesson a little pop, with a sudden change in volume.

 

Pivoting

Great teachers learn to pivot.

If in the middle of your lesson, things are very obviously not going well, figure out a way to pivot.

Your goal for any lesson is to communicate the main idea, not to “get through the material”.

So if things aren’t rocking and rolling like normal, pivot!

You’re allowed to!!

 

Pickiling

Yes, I am surprised by this “p” word as well.

Here’s what I know…

The more of a “pickle” you get your character into during a story the better your lesson.

The better you can describe how dangerous or doomed a situation seems to be, the more drama and interest you will add to your story.

Spend the time necessary to build quite the “pickle’ of a situation for your man character to deal with.

FYI…this is why most stories are boring. Teachers think that since students know the outcome, there is no hope for a gripping story. WRONG. We rewatch movies all the time that we know the ending to. If you can tell a good story, and build good tension with a dicey “pickle” of a situation, you’ll have a story worth hearing.

 

Passing

Interesting short stories are better than long boring ones.

Not every Bible story needs every detail mentioned.

If the kids are crazy, or the lesson is dragging, don’t feel the need to “mention all the facts”.

Pass on the boring facts.

Focus on the elements that drive the story forward.

 

Puuurrrrfecting

Apparently I’ve turned into a cat.

Ugh.

Go stand in front of a mirror the day before you teach and tell yourself your story.

Pretend you are actually teaching it to yourself in the mirror.

You’ll be shocked at how hard this is, first of all. But then, more importantly, you’ll realize how boring some parts of the lesson are.

Teaching to a mirror will give you invaluable feedback on weak points you can puuuuuurrrfect to have a better Sunday.

And lastly….dogs rule.

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