All students are capable of learning. While not every student learns at the same rate for any given subject, each student possesses gifts in different areas. Because of this, teachers should design instruction to accommodate varied intelligences and learning styles of students, as described in Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.
All students should be treated as valued individuals by their teachers. Teachers should strive to create a supportive learning environment which encourages mutual respect and a love of learning. One important characteristic of a successful teacher is a willingness to get to know his or her students, so as to better serve them. In the classroom, teachers should exhibit a keen balance between firmness and a sense of humor.
Learning should be both challenging and as interesting as possible through the use of diverse instructional methods and the thoughtful incorporation of technology. Learning is enhanced by providing clear explanations and instructions to students, and when possible building upon students’ previous knowledge. Teachers should use a variety of formative and summative assessments, and provide timely feedback to students. As expressed in Bloom’s Taxonomy, students should learn much more than simply facts, but also be able to comprehend, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the material being presented. Students should enjoy their learning and become independent, lifelong learners.
Teachers should use a wide selection of instructional strategies in the classroom. When possible, teachers should implement student-focused lessons, so students will be more likely to learn and to enjoy learning. Students should be active participants in their learning. It is much better to give incentive to students to do what is right, rather than to correct unacceptable behavior after the fact. When discipline is necessary, teachers should address the issue as soon as possible and only address the student responsible, avoiding drawing attention from others in the classroom.
Since my first year of teaching, I have grown in many ways and hope to continue growing. Over the years, I have become much more adept and calm when handling discipline issues in the classroom and hope to continually improve in this area. One challenge which I currently face as a teacher is to keep from becoming complacent by continually improving my lessons. It is my hope that I will always strive for excellence in the classroom and to never settle for less!