I strive to increase each student’s knowledge and understanding, while having FUN! Yes, learning can be fun. I continually challenge students; scaffolding (see below*) them when necessary, and leading them toward independence. I make it a priority to nurture self-esteem, and create a trusting and authentic relationship with each student, which is the key to helping an individual to reach his or her potential. Honoring each student’s truth is imperative.
I recognize the importance of using a variety of tools to successfully support students in ways that suit diverse individual learning styles. I support Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence, and incorporate multi-sensory teaching techniques when working with all students; whether they are typically developing, English language learners, gifted, “at-risk,” or have “special needs.”
I utilize the following skills and techniques (prior to, and throughout the formal learning process) to inform and maximize my teaching success.
- Initiate open, honest, and respectful relationships with students.
- Engage students in informal conversation.
- Ask open ended questions.
- Actively listen.
- Proactively request clarification when necessary.
- Observe and evaluate each students
- communication skills (expressive and receptive)
- learning style (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, experiential, etc.)
- energy level
- Discuss – classroom learning (current assignments and activities), and student self-perceived performance levels (strengths and challenges).
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) – evaluate (distracting and desirable) behavior, which serves as a form of communication. Determine the context and function of each behavior.
Planning & Preparation
- Determine goals and several means to achieve them.
- Plan objectives, which will enhance learning in all domains (Communication, Cognitive, Social, Emotional, Fine/Gross Motor).
- Prepare engaging content; tailored to each student’s personal interests, and skill level.
- Incorporate opportunities for active learning, and support guided discovery.
- Encourage curiosity and a love of learning.
- Respect and consider each student’s personality, interests, learning style, strengths, and challenges.
- Utilize multi-sensory techniques to reinforce concepts. Learn more.
- Provide customized exercises, which challenge learners; and address lagging skills without intimidating or overwhelming them.
- Encourage students to ask questions, and provide feedback.
Adjusting – personalize, customize, and differentiate
- Respond moment to moment to each student’s learning process; adjusting lessons accordingly.
- Remain flexible, and welcoming unexpected teachable moments.
- Collaborate with teachers, service providers, administrators, and parents or caregivers. Share knowledge and experience.
Extending Learning Beyond the Lesson
- Cultivate the courage to…take risks and make mistakes
- Emphasize the advantages of learning from failure.
- Stimulate resilience and persistence; enabling students to pick themselves up, and try, try, again
- Extend learning beyond the initial intention, connecting concepts to one another, and augmenting critical thinking and problem solving skills.
- Support development of soft skills.
- Build self-esteem.
- Lead students toward independence.
* Learn about Scaffolding and Differentiation
* Learn how The Zone of Proximal Development relates to Scaffolding
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