The School Bus Driver In-Service Safety Series is intended to be interactive. While some of the material is presented in lecture form, it is expected that there will be considerable participant involvement in each module.
Suggested questions are offered to encourage participant participation. Instructors can use these questions as a starting place for a guided discussion. The participants have substantial expertise and prior experience. Not only will they be eager to share their knowledge with others, but you can take advantage of this wisdom to enhance the session.
Explicit directions are given for conducting the practice sessions. You should prepare for each practice session fully before presenting it. There are several techniques that will help you to conduct an effective session.
- Before your presentation, think through the practice session carefully. Visualize the purpose the session serves and how it will progress.
- Give clear instructions as to what you expect the participants to do.
- Monitor the participants closely as they work and help them when they have difficulty. Be available to answer questions.
Suggestions are made for when to record group answers on the flipchart (or a blackboard or whiteboard). In the Instructor Notes column on the left page of the curriculum are notations indicating when you will want to write on the flipchart.
Here are some tips for using flipcharts effectively.
- As you write on a flipchart, talk to the class, not to the chart. Be aware of where you place the easel and how you stand. The entire group must be able to see the flipchart.
- Write large enough for people in the back to see.
- Don't write in all caps. A reader reads all caps word for word. Using upper and lower case increases comprehension.
- Use bright colors that are easier to see. Avoid using all black or soft colors.
- Ask for volunteers to write on the flipchart to increase student participation.
- Use lined or grid paper. It helps keep your writing straight.
- Use watercolor pens, not permanent ones. They won't go through the paper to the next sheet or decorate your clothes.
- Use two flipcharts side-by-side if you want to keep some information visible while you develop additional facts or tape sheets to the walls for future reference.
Overhead slides (also called transparencies and vu-graphs) are a great teaching aid. Participants can see the words as they hear them. This increases comprehension and retention.
Almost every module has overhead slides. Here are some tips for using overhead slides:
- Put the overhead slide up only when you need it and take it down when you are done.
- Turn the overhead projector off when not needed.
- Cover the overhead slide with a sheet of paper and slide the paper down to uncover points as you discuss them. In this way, participants will not read ahead of you.
- Lay a pen or pointer on the overhead slide to show which item you are discussing.