Being Flexible in your Teaching Methods
When it comes to teaching a lot of teachers are set in their ways, especially if this has been their career for a while, but over the years we have learned that teachers need to be flexible with their methods because there is a wide range of learning abilities in every classroom. Each child has their own learning styles and the way we approach a lesson should be tailored too, hopefully, to meet the needs of every child in the room.
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This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Alexandra M. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Teaching children with varying learning abilities means adapting and providing curriculum and course activities that have been purposefully planned to create the best learning experience possible. In order to adapt to the different learning abilities, conducting assessments of the students will help to understand and identify students' varying skills and learning styles. Many different sensory activities can help with this process as these types of activities will give a perspective that the teacher will be able to see, not only in a formal way, such as on paper but also in the informal way of observing the children as they are engaged in these activities. Once the teacher feels that they have a good grasp on the students in their class and the different learning abilities they can begin to plan the curriculum moving forward based on that.
Designing lesson plans for the class will be more straightforward after the assessments since you will have a better understanding of what your students need. Incorporating a variety of delivery methods into every lesson will be very beneficial. Different delivery methods could include visuals, demonstrations, hands-on activities, videos, reading, etc. Implementing these various delivery methods into the lessons provides something for every learner as well as being able to evaluate which students may need further instruction or information. This also applies to projects and assignments, having various options for projects and assignments will help students to choose the one that will best suit their learning ability. Having options such as poster boards, video presentations, group assignments, etc.
Not only does the lesson plan need to be flexible but the environment in which the students are learning needs to be adaptable and comfortable for all students. Providing different areas or centers within the classroom that the children can use at any time is important. Different areas or centers could include a sensory area, a quiet area, a reading area, etc. Having different areas that children can work on their skills on their own terms is important for learning and play as well.
Taking the time to adapt your lesson plan is time-consuming but very well worth it in the end. Being able to provide equal opportunity for all learning abilities in the classroom is something that should be considered very important and should be a requirement by all teachers. All children, no matter their learning ability, have the right to an education and that education should be one that suits their needs and capabilities while still challenging them to learn at their own level. Being flexible in your teaching methods is key to teaching children with varying learning abilities.
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