Looking for volunteer work and have knowledge in a certain niche? You may want to consider teaching a class. There are all sorts of volunteer opportunities as a teacher: life skills classes, Sunday schools, tutoring, special interest classes at the library, etc. If you've never taught a class before, it will benefit you to educate yourself on some basic classroom management skills. Here are some tips to help.
Start off Small if You Can
Students, especially small children, work better in smaller groups. It's a good idea to start with a small class or one-on-one tutoring if you can. You will be less overwhelmed at the prospect of teaching and able to manage your time between the students better. Smaller classes are also less intimidating and it will be easier to get to know your students quickly. Once you've volunteered for some smaller classes, you can take what you've learned and apply it to a larger group.
Consult a Classroom Management Textbook
There are many great classroom management textbooks that you can buy or get from the library. Even though you aren't a professional teacher, you can still apply this knowledge to your volunteer work. For instance, many of these textbooks contain procedures so you know how to use your time wisely. When students have a routine, they know what to expect, how to proceed, and what their learning outcomes should be. For instance, a textbook may give you guidelines on how to get students to work independently or in groups.
Even though this is volunteer work, act as if you were getting paid. You want to present your best self to your students so that they know that you actually care about their interests. Being professional means being on time, outlining your classroom expectations, dressing appropriately, and so on.
While you may be an expert on a specific topic, remember that your students may be completely new. Try to put yourself in their shoes. It's one thing to understand certain ideas, but another to be able to explain those concepts, especially abstract ones, to someone else.
If you aren't sure how to explain a specific topic, or you don't know the answer, be honest and provide resources that the student can seek out on their own time. If your students are children, be sure to let their parents or guardians know about these additional learning resources.
Sit in on a Class That Will Be Similar to Yours
One of the best ways to learn about classroom management is by observing another teacher. You will see which procedures are successful with a class and which aren't. You can make note of certain books, supplies, crafts, etc. work and implement them in your own class later. After you observe a class, be sure to talk with the teacher afterward for tips. It's helpful to utilize other teachers' knowledge and bounce ideas back and forth.