Several weeks ago I began learning about myself in a whole new way. My work to develop a blended learning course for middle school students led to defining how I came to know what works and doesn’t in the classroom. This shouldn’t be confused with curriculum or standards; I’m talking about defining why I do – what I do – as a teacher, and taking ownership for the results it yields.
As a teacher, I was pleased to find my teaching style was based on science and philosophy well tested over time. The experience made me hopeful that anyone could be a better teacher if they wanted to, if they just looked honestly at themselves and were willing to make adjustments in how they taught. It wasn’t just a fluke that what I was doing made a difference to my students. Years of research backed up my ideas of how to motivate learners.
My experience is limited. I haven’t been challenged by an angry parent or seen a student fail-out of my class. None of my courses could keep a child from graduating or force them to repeat a grade. Those pressures exist in other classes, taught by other teachers so I won’t pretend that I have been there and done it. In spite of that, the students I’ve encountered have returned and asked to learn more, several years in a row. I consider that evidence of a successful strategy that any teacher might want to try.
Here’s a look at what I believe works in education – certainly, for me.
Image Source: Google Images: Wikimedia.org, licensed to use with modifications