Well, I am trying something new. It is called Teacher Tuesday. I am going to try every Tuesday to post some type of teacher tip or story. These posts will come from my experiences as a mom who has homeschooled and is now back teaching high schoolers. So here is my first one.
One of the biggest things I have learned as a teacher is to be a student of my students. How do they learn? What are they like? What is keeping them from learning? What is the best way to encourage them? I teach 7 classes of the same thing over a period of two days. No two classes are the same. Some classes are more interactive and mostly teach themselves. Other classes need to be drawn out with questions and encouragement. Other classes could care less and can’t wait for the bell to ring. When I first started teaching I taught how I was most comfortable teaching which didn’t always bring success to my students. It is true I need to find my style and students also need to learn to adapt to different styles but if I never meet them where they are at they will never get where I want them to be. Relationship is key. A positive environment is a must. Loving learning yourself helps too. Some students I have yet to figure out how to motivate. On the other hand, I was reminded this week of how good it feels to see your students have success when they have worked hard and done their best.
I have been studying my own children. We are hoping to homeschool again next year. It won’t be the same as before. My children are in different stages. I also see teaching methods that adapt more to them as learners. One of my children loves projects. I hate projects but we will do more projects because this helps her show us her creativity in what she has learned. My other child likes challenges. I am hoping to find him different problems to solve each week that keep him on his toes. We will do many of the same things we did before such the same math books and lots of reading aloud and alone. But this time I think I will be more student centered than curriculum centered.