Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How to Match Your Teaching Style with the Student’s Learning Style

In earlier posts, I gave suggestions for teaching to different students’ learning styles. I feel it is very important for the teacher to try to teach according to the student’s learning style as much as possible. It will not be possible at all times but I tried to as often as I could. Since I am such a visual learner, I taught in a very visual style and realized that I was not reaching all of my students. When I realized this, I had to change my teaching technique which was very hard for me. First, I wrote out my lesson as a list of separate steps or procedures. I even listed what I would say or do. Beside each step, I wrote V if it would work for the visual learner, A for the auditory learner, and T for the tactile-kinesthetic learner. I realized that most of my steps had a V beside them. In fact I was shocked because I had thought I was meeting everyone’s needs and apparently I wasn’t. This might explain why some of my student continually had low test grades or didn’t retain the concepts that I was teaching them. Then I consciously had to think about what I needed to do to meet the A and T learners. At first this was time consuming but the results really paid off. The more I did this, the more I started to do things naturally and eventually I didn’t even need to write out the steps any more. My students were performing better on tests and understanding the concepts better. If I referred to a previous lesson, I had more students offering to refresh the class’s memory about the concepts learned. By changing the way I taught I had more students engaged in active learning which in turn had me more excited and willing to try new things. It gave me such a thrill when I saw the students learn something new, remember it later, and actually used this information. I guess this is another reason I love teaching!

No comments: