d. Check for Inattentive Students. Be alert to what is going on in your class.
Pay close attention to the students' responses. Listen and evaluate their comments and
answers to your questions. Be quick to spot an inattentive soldier. Look at him. Take a
step toward him or ask him a question. Continually ask yourself, "Do my students
understand?" Check often to make sure they are following you.
a. General Information.
(1) Nervousness a common reaction. Almost every instructor experiences
nervousness to some degree before his initial appearance in front of a class.
Nervousness indicates that the instructor is aware of the class and concerned about its
reaction to him. Many instructors who lack nervousness are likely to be unimaginative
and may not do more than a mediocre job of instruction.
(2) Positive aspects. Under control, nervousness usually results in a more
enthusiastic and expressive delivery. Good instructors usually devise their own
particular techniques of making their nervousness work for them instead of against
them. Some of these techniques are: preparation, attitude, begin well, use the familiar,
humor, and slow down. The next paragraphs explain these techniques.
b. Preparation. Be thoroughly prepared. The first step the instructor can take
to overcome excessive nervousness is thorough mastery of the subject and the plan for
teaching it. Then he must realize that the students are there to learn and that they are
more interested in the subject than in the instructor. Think of the subject and of the
learning that should result from the instruction, and nervousness will take care of itself.
(1) Mental attitude. Assume the proper mental attitude. The most reliable
weapon the instructor has for overcoming nervousness is a proper attitude toward
himself, his students, and the entire instructional setup. To assume a proper frame of
mind, he must make an intelligent, rational analysis of the situation. He must realize
that the unpleasant mental and physical reaction he experiences before a class is from
fear of what the soldiers will think of him and his instruction.
(2) Instructor knowledge. Students expect their instructor to have full
knowledge of the subject and to be able to teach it effectively. Although the students
focus their attention on instructors, they do not immediately place them on trial. If the
instructor has mastered his subject and prepared thoroughly, he has eliminated the real
reason for fearing the reaction of the students. He has every right to a feeling of self-
confidence which will help make his presentation a success.