Blog Post 6

One of the main jobs of a teacher is to create a classroom where students feel safe to question, think, and learn. In order to do this, a teacher should consider how they should best help students learn by considering how the students best learn and how to make them comfortable in the classroom. A teacher’s own memories of school can serve as a guide to helping students, but it should not be the main driving force behind decision making. Teachers should tap into students’ prior knowledge and help them unlearn the misconceptions they may have so they can learn the proper information. All of these help students feel more comfortable in the classroom. If students feel comfortable in their classroom, they are more likely to pay attention and learn the material.

Teachers should also be aware of their students different learning preferences. The term learning preferences does not imply that students will learn the material differently, but rather that students may prefer one type of instruction over another. A teacher can tap into multiple intelligences to help teach their students. There are eight intelligences according to this theory. These intelligences are linguistic/verbal, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist. The key is to have instruction that utilizes a variety of these intelligences to make sure the majority of the students have their learning preference represented. A big challenge for teachers is to teach with a wide variety of styles and not solely using the style they prefer most.

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Teachers also have to motivate their students to complete their work. There is intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation involves getting students interested in a subject and making them feel that what they are doing is worthwhile and will help them in the long run. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation involves giving students some sort of reward for completing work or getting good grades. Extrinsic motivation can lead to students only completing work to get the reward instead of completing the work to learn the material. So, it is best to use a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to make sure the students do not rely solely on rewards. If there is a combination of the two motivation styles, the students will start to learn the material and want to learn it instead of just completing work for the sake of a reward or getting it done.

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