The Art of Teaching – Class Information

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Inspired by Natalie

Natalie Buske Thomas

Contact: e-mail or visit class message board

YOUR CLASS: Teaching (homeschool or small group)


Welcome to your Teaching class! You will learn how to be diplomatic and empathetic with your students, by studying basic psychology and human nature. You’ll learn the art of negotiating in a fair way that’s not exploitative or manipulative, while recognizing when your student is attempting to exploit or manipulate you- and how to curb those behaviors. Instruction is based on developmental age of your student, which you will need to assess by behavior and ability, not by age. You will also learn how to select solid teaching materials and methods that work. Most of all, you’ll learn teaching techniques and activities to inspire your student to learn- and for you to enjoy teaching.

Class Materials

All materials will be provided for you through free public use book excerpts, exercises, web pages, blogs, videos, and personal experience examples. However, if you wish to read more in-depth, you may choose to purchase full versions of books and other sources referred to in this class.

Successful teaching inspires students to learn. Many make the mistake of trying to trick students into learning, much the same way a well-meaning parent may inadvertently create a picky eater. Instead of teaching a child a love of good food, a parent may trick a child to eat nutritious food by hiding it in less healthy options, by bribing the child with dessert, or providing silly distractions while forcing the food into the baby’s mouth. No, no, no! This teaches the child that junk foods are fun and nutritious foods are punishments.

Education is never to be presented as a punishment. You will learn better ways to inspire your student than trickery, bribery, and other unsuccessful methods to force or beg cooperation. Those methods make matters worse- your student will view education as something to avoid, instead of something to appreciate.

The keys to inspiring students to want education involve:


Setting goals that the student is excited to achieve, and making sure that the prize is completion of the task, not a false trophy


Not much focus on grades: The focus is on MASTERY, as in- how much has the student learned? Changing from a seeking-outside-validation approach (grades from a teacher or an automated test score), to self-validation creates independent, lasting motivation, not dependent upon- or limited to- the given situation (a particular class, program, teacher, credential). Students who are motivated by a situation will rise to that goal, and that goal only. If the student has misjudged what the goal is, they will fail. Students who strive for MASTERY and set their own goals, will be successful lifelong learners. Each challenge has a higher rate of success because their goal was to master the information according to their abilities and chosen balance of time/effort/cost, not by “gaming the system” or limiting themselves to what will be on the test. Instead, they are overall much better prepared. When life’s tests are much different than expected, a student of mastery is ready.


Education must have value to the student. Students must believe that their skills are a valuable commodity, that learning matters, and that education is a privilege. Gratitude develops when challenges are overcome, when negative experiences are worked through and healed, and when positive experiences bring confidence and excitement.

Learn at your own pace. Relax and have fun. Be joyful, be free!

Be inspired to teach!

/See next documents: Class Syllabus and Lessons/