Surface mount device (SMD) soldering is an advanced skill that is necessary for anyone interested in working with electronics beyond the educational level. The majority of electronics found outside of a classroom are some sort of surface mount design. Here is a presentation I made that is useful for teaching SMD soldering. You’re probably going to want to lay off the coffee the first time you do some SMD soldering. The parts are small and the work is meticulous.
The one crucial thing that most beginners forget to do is keeping the soldering iron tip clean. I can’t stress this enough, it leads to damaged equipment and a frustrating first experience soldering if the soldering iron is allowed to oxidize. Make sure people are cleaning their soldering tips at least every other solder joint and maybe even hit the tip with some tip tinner between students.
Artistic soldering is a great way to practice your soldering skills without worrying about destroying any electronics.