#2 Master interactive methods and select/create teaching materials
Prior to teaching, law students must make a commitment to use teaching methods and content that are engaging and student-centered. Law students also shouldn’t underestimate the time it takes to master the teaching methods and materials that are essential to a successful Street Law program.
The most important part of teaching is how the content is taught—even more than the content itself! When law students learn how to use teaching methods, it ensures that the material is conveyed to their students effectively. Law students should be encouraged to practice, practice, practice! Like all skills, teaching skills are developed over time and through experience.
Interactive teaching methods are a standard ingredient in all Street Law programs. Here are detailed instructions for commonly used methods:
We recommend that program coordinators demonstrate these methods to the law students prior to using them at the teaching sites.
Selecting Content/Materials to Teach
Law school programs approach the selection of materials in a variety of ways. Some require participating law students to develop their own teaching materials; others require law students to teach from the Street Law text; and some provide a prescribed set of lesson plans to be used.
Most credit-bearing programs require law students to develop their own lessons. It is crucial that these lessons be reviewed, preferably by the program coordinator, to ensure they are content-appropriate and use interactive, student-centered methods. Some programs require law students to prepare model lesson plans, which are then made available to future law students participating in the program.
When selecting lessons, ask the following questions:
- How will this topic fit into the syllabus of the class?
- Is this topic relevant to the young people I’m teaching?
- Are the methods I’m using engaging and student-centered?
It is strongly recommended that law students work with the on-site teacher to map out the semester and develop a plan that works well with and supports the teaching site’s goals and needs.
Explore the Lessons tab to access information about developing high-quality lesson plans and Street Law-developed and recommend lesson plans, teaching activities, and resources.
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