Teach to produce learning! (No teaching style is wrong!)

As I participate in Twitter chats, read blogs, listen to Podcast and talk to teachers I am continually hearing about different teaching methods. Flipped classroom, blended learning, reader’s workshop, writer’s workshop etc. are all “hot” methods for teaching in 2013. Should teachers drop what they have been doing and make a change?

The quick answers is “It depends”. Should you make a change if you are being successful? How are you measuring the success? Change should not happen for changes sake. Changes in education should be made for two reasons:

  • First: Teacher is not being successful with current students. Change need to takes place. Learning needs to occur. Students need to be successful.
  • Second: New technologies exist that the students NEED to use for future success. When districts add 1 to 1 or other new technology programs.

When educators see new ideas they should take a closer look. Examine them for their merits. Try them out in their classrooms. When merits for new methods are seen then slowly incorporate them into their teaching. All teachers need to check out new ideas remembering that new ideas might not work for all students. The teachers that are using them are sharing because they have found successes, often more successes than with other methods. This might not work for other teachers. WHY? teacher and class is different. I don’t teach any two classes alike. Sure I cover the same material but I use different teaching techniques based upon the students in the class. In one hour I might need a hands-on activity in another the class might respond better to a video. Teachers have to remember that the students dictate the how the learning should go in the classroom not the teacher. Teachers have already learned the content. Students are the ones that need to explore how to learn it now.

Teachers need to realize that no teaching style is wrong IF the students in the class are learning. We need to use formative assessments to show that our teaching is being effective. Constantly monitoring and changing how we teach based upon the students progress in leaning. There is not a teaching style out there that is one size fits all or the “best”. All styles work depending on the teacher and the students. Whether you flip or give lectures, have a no homework policy or give it daily; examine your students learning to see if it is working. Share with other teachers when it is, but hold off judgement of your fellow teachers when they don’t change. They just might not see the same results.

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