Today after long I am actually writng a blog myself, and inshaAllah you will know some techniques that our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used in order to teach people and to make them understand concepts that they needed to learn.
The lesson comes from a series of lectures that I downloaded from Audio Islam and are titled 'Humanity's Teacher' by Muhammad AlShareef. I have listened to four parts and loved them. I took notes of it and here you will see an overview of what I learnt. At the same time I also highly recommend you to benefit from them by yourself, alhamdulilah the teacher has tried his best himself to practice those techniques in his lesson. So you listen to them part by part, you will enjoy as much as i did inshaaAllah. Best thing is, they are not long and boring but brief and to the point (probably very unlike what this blog is going to make them into :p )
Should I start? Wait! the teacher has given us a very valuable tip before starting. Do you take small notes while reading a book, magazine etc.? I never do, just so that my book stays clean and 'unblemished'. But what l have learnt to do now is that it is important that we make small notes, put special marks etc. while reading and we come across things that really strike us, or that we need to remember later.
So always take notes, this may save you from re reading the whole stuff all over again, because you will definitely not remember it all just as you read it first time and understood WHILE you were reading.
Those notes can be written in small points at the side margins of the text, can be symbols like stars, etc, or can be small abbreviations like APOI (Amazing Piece of Information), or Gem where you think you have read something you should treasure forever, or is a lesson for your whole life. It can be anything, any symbol that you can come up with. These were as examples given by this teacher.
You will find it amazing the next time when you are going to go through the same book, and then build up your understanding further from those points, or you can prepare a lecture, article etc. quickly from that.
But, the teacher reminds us, not to forget using our memory at the same time, do not completely rely on your notes, do excercise your memory. (we know there were people and still are who read books and keep all in their head, they have whole books memorized).
We come now to our beloved Prophet's (peace be upon him) techniques for teaching.
Technique no. 1.
TO NOT BORE THE LISTENER
It is narrated that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke, you could count his words on fingers. That is why many times we can just memorize the hadiths automatically, because of the shortness, directness and clarity of his words.
When the Prophet pbuh spoke it was never a marathon lecture, going on for hours and hours.
In the book of Prophet's (pbuh) saying [Sahih al-Bukhari] there is even a chapter titled 'Being moderate when teaching'.
We know from those hadiths, how when everytime the Prophet (pbuh) spoke it was a special occasion.
Same was practiced later by his companions. Ibn Masood (ra) used to teach only on Thursdays, and people wished that it was everyday. Prophet (pbuh) and also his companions took extra care in trying not to make people burdened by their speech or lessons etc.
That was the Prophet's (pbuh) way. How do we tell if someone's bored; well we all know, you may see the other person is sleepy, trying to stop yawning, reading something else, looking away, looking at the clock, or just simply looking bored by what you are saying.
The lecture or the lesson/ talk should not be a boring, consistant thing. There can be a lot done to make it interesting, e.g by making it paired with something special, like having a powerpoint presentation relevant to the topic, or some other special event.
One more thing as suggested by this teacher is to not to have repeat letures, becaue that way people always think of missing one where they can take another later. So one can make it as a special talk that is going to be only once, and if someone has missed, its like thay have missed the train. This keeps the people's interest.
More I m going place later inshaAllah, in the meantime you also have 'Humanity's Teacher'. I also would love to have your comments on this, especially if anyone of you who teaches and particularly teaching little kids and would like to share on this.
PS i hope that you have been benefitting from brother Ibrahim's articles, he will be writing more here inshaAllah, may Allah reward him, aameen.