I view classes as stepping stones and learning as an accumulative experience. As a teacher, it is my job to present new material in such a way that it can foster thought and be the basis for further study. Thus for my students I have two goals: one, to explain concepts and, two, to provide moments for the students to use this acquired knowledge.
I accomplish the first goal through explanation, demonstration, and clarification. I believe that variability in information presentation is important to the overall success of the learning experience. I independently teach a beginning Latin course to homeschoolers. I use various methods to convey the same information. This also helps me to accommodate for different learning styles and deal with confusion. Once I state a concept, I then give a real-life application and example or show a visual representation. Through repetition and alternative presentations of concepts, I work to ensure that students have every opportunity to understand what I am teaching.
My second goal follows closely; I offer opportunities for students to use what they have learned. Certainly, practice tests accomplish this and are a feature of my sessions; my tests are more objective than subjective in nature. More beneficial for students, though, are composition exercises. These allow me to engage with students in their learning process. In my experience, I have seen that intellectual growth occurs when students restate or use learned material on a regular basis. Further, they benefit from a “sandbox” experience, where they can put forth an answer, receive correction, and then try to reach that correct answer on their own.