If you have not come in contact with a fast-talking teacher yet, you will soon. It is unavoidable that you will meet someone who is talking too fast for you to understand or write down notes on. I know when I talk fast everyone yells, “Slow down!” because I will keep going without taking a breath until everything is off my chest. Sadly, you can’t do that in the middle of a class, but there are a few helpful hints on how to get around the teacher talking too fast.
First of all, don’t just sit there. If you are confused by the teacher talking fast there is probably someone else who is as confused as you are. It is okay to take a few deep breaths if you begin to feel frustrated at the teacher. Keeping a calm mind will assist in correctly assessing on what to do in this situation. The teacher may look at you while you are lost and assume that you don’t care about the material enough to want to take notes which will not help in your relationship with the teacher. No matter how angering the situation can get, just remember to keep your head on your shoulders and remember there are others who are in the same position as you.
The most you can do is begin to write down something. It doesn’t have to be every word that is spoken because you are draining a lot of energy in trying to listen to everything and copy it word for word. At the very least, make sure to write down key words that will hint at what is attempting to be said. Having a few key words about the subject matter can go for miles in understanding the concept in the future.
After the class period is over, ask others about sharing notes or questions you have about what was said. Your classmates are one of the most useful utensils in school as they are able to help you understand what you may not. When I would have troubles in a class, I would go immediately to my friends and they would most likely know the answer and help me get to it myself. I have also helped out a number of students who didn’t understand the material and I would help them figure it out. The only reason someone might say, “no” to you is that they didn’t understand what the teacher said either and are still attempting to find the answer.
The best advice I can give is to ask the teacher. It can be either during class to ask the teacher to repeat something, slow down, or explain something more (although it is understandable if you don’t want to during the class because it is a bit forward), after class, or schedule a time to meet privately to discuss what you are confused about. There are a lot of different routes that the conversation can go on, but you might have to confess that you can’t understand anything because the teacher is talking really fast. This is a bit blunt, but the teacher may be unaware of the speed of which they are talking at because they are already familiar with the material. If you also talk to students about the fast-talking teacher then you can use them to help make your point.
Results will vary, but having someone talk quickly is just a matter of asking for help and slowing down. It is better to let them know that you are confused by them speaking fast than to have them continue to be oblivious to the situation.