Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Individualize the Lesson - From the Heart of a Teacher

Sorry about the lag in my posts.  I returned from my sabbatical and have been inundated with home responsibilities.  I just had surgery this week and am now getting back on task.  Thank you for your patience.

I have the heart of a teacher.  God has blessed me with the ability to empathize and identify student learning styles and frustrations.  If you remember one of my previous posts, I spoke of the advice given by one of my teaching mentors.  In a quick paraphrase, he reminded me I teach students, not English.  The point being, every lesson plan should include a variety of teaching/learning styles.

This is a picture of my parents (top), my sister's family (her husband, two daughters and son-in-law), my wife and I (second row to top), and our seven children.  I include this to reinforce my message to teachers today.  All seven of my children learn differently.  They are uniquely motivated.  They value and fear different things.  If I have learned anything in the adoption of the sibling group of five children...adding to my two biological children it has been to individualize my teaching and parenting styles.

As you may know, there are three basic learning styles:  auditory, visual and kinesthetic.  Auditory children learn best by hearing.  This is wonderful for a lecture format.  Unfortunately, this is the smallest group of learners.  In our electronic age today, many children are visual learners and need to see in order to comprehend and remember.  The third group (kinesthetic learners) need to experience the subject with hands on or participatory lessons.  

So, in short, whether you are a professional teacher, a volunteer at a church, or a parent, remember to vary your styles of teaching.  Discover your child's/student's learning style and individualize the lesson appropriately.  It will not only help that child learn and succeed, but it will give them hope and confidence.  Take the time to teach so that every child may have the opportunity to learn.  And thank you for sharing your gift of time, love, and self.  You make a difference!

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