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.
The first goal is accomplished through explanation, demonstration, and clarification. Variability in information presentation helps in the overall success of the learning experience. I independently taught a beginning Latin course to homeschoolers, using various methods to convey the same information. This also helped me to accommodate for different learning styles and deal with confusion. Once I state a concept, I then gave a real-life application and example or show a visual representation. Through repetition and alternative presentations of concepts, I always 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.