Walking into an Adult Studies classroom at 6:00pm on one of our campus sites I always try to remember that whatever my day has been like, these students have had just as difficult and tiring a day, or perhaps even moreso. Knowing that some of the students are likely single parents gives me even more appreciation for the challenges in their lives and their commitment to change the course of their family’s future. With that being said, one of the most important things I can do in the evening is to get the class off on the right foot.
Don’t let your “grumpy” or your “tired” lead the way or your class will go downhill pretty quickly. Instead, great the students by name, enter into conversations that are uplifting and edifying, share positive stories from your day (avoid the “poor me” stories). Once the class has gathered, take time to pray, not as completing a check box, but in genuine petition to help separate the class time from the busyness of the day.
Almost everything can be said from different perspectives. Think about what you are saying and the perspective you bring, are you negative and critical, or positive and instructive? Even the worst news can be delivered in a way that edifies if you make the effort.
Most of all remember, you have entered a “Christian” zone where it is appropriate and encouraged to bring Jesus and faith into the discussion. When done in a way that is non-judgmental and expressive of God’s love, the Holy Spirit can bring a peace into the classroom greater than you can manufacture on your own.
Instructor, YOU are the one who sets the mood!