I like this answer to a quora posting so much that i have to re-publish:
Original posting and anwer from http://qr.ae/t2VQr
Over the past decade I've taught incarcerated men, UC Berkeley undergrads, and middle-class suburban tots and teens. Here's a sampling of lessons I've learned…
What I've learned about learning - People need to feel safe, physically and emotionally, in order to learn. - Creating solid human relationships is more important than creating solid lesson plans. - Lots of smart people are great lecturers but only mediocre teachers. A good teacher will step back and let students actively make connections – both conceptual and interpersonal. - Stories are the ultimate teaching/learning vehicle. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a great story is worth a thousand pictures. - Often it's better to focus on one idea, have fun with it, and delve deep… than to power through a dozen ideas efficiently. - Size matters. Class size, that is. It's possibly the most vital factor in the quality of educational experience. - Sometimes the best thing you can do as a teacher is not to dispense information, but rather to repair a student's shattered self-confidence. Self-confidence is the infrastructure. If you try to build an informational edifice upon broken fragments of self-confidence, you're setting it up to collapse. First build the infrastructure, and if that's all you have time to do, you've done a wonderful thing. Let the next teacher come along and help the student build the edifice.