cheerful surprised woman sitting with laptop

Stop Teaching To Yourself and Start Teaching Your Students

We only know what we know. I know it sounds ridiculous but we forget this sometimes. We are constantly aware of how we think and how we feel and sometimes we forget others may not be the same. Your students may not think proofs of the Pythagorean theorem are interesting. GASP! How dare they!

We also sometimes fall into the trap of teaching ourselves. We know how we learn best and what we would find cool so we teach accordingly. We are then puzzled at why this approach didn’t work because it worked so well for us.

So what is the cure? It’s to ask and to diversify. Give your students multiple content options, multiple assessment options and different ways to learn. Just because we learn best by reading students may learn best by watching video. Remember there are also 30ish different little people in your room with 30ish different learning strengths.

If you’re constantly at the board doing direct instruction mix it up and present with a video next time or a podcast. There are a million different ways to get the same content across. You can also create multiple content delivery systems and let students choose the one they want. Alex may choose a podcast while Leslie may choose the video.

It’s important students identify their own learning strengths and how they learn best. Once they know this they will be able to learn from any instructor. Teach students how to learn!

So as a wrap up, teach students how to identify their own learning strengths then give them choice. We cannot expect one way of teaching will work for everyone especially because we are not teaching ourselves. We can’t expect what works for us to work for everyone.

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