For educators, it’s easy to overlook the concept that teaching doesn’t equal learning. Regardless of how much care and effort we put into our students, true success lies in the students’ ability to incorporate the information we share with them.
At any age, learning goes beyond merely shaping our worldview. Learning has the ability to alter the physical composition, tissue, and neuronal structure of our brains.
Luckily for educators, there are a plethora of science-backed methods that can help improve how we structure and instruct our classrooms. Keep reading to find out our favorite dos and don’ts to take your classroom experience to the next level.
- Create room for curiosity
Childhood is synonymous with curiosity. Kids have a lot to learn in a limited span of time if they are to become happy and functional adults. Create avenues for kids to explore topics of interest to them to foster ingenuity, curiosity, and a passion for learning.
- Allow kids to explore the idea of purpose
Beyond the standard curriculum, ask kids open-ended and contemplative questions like “what makes you happy?” Through these questions, kids get in tune with their internal states and attach a greater sense of meaning to their education.
- Make time for physical play
Kids have all the energy in the world. Not only do they reap health benefits from interactive play it also helps to make new connections in the brain that are vital for learning.
- Empathy over competition
Empathy, simply put, is being able to put you in another person’s shoes and see the world from their perspective. Not only does empathy foster kindness, but it also allows students to entertain multiple perspectives.
- Foster a growth mindset for resilience
A growth mindset emphasizes that our abilities aren’t fixed, but through dedication, self-improvement, and hard work, we can reach our goals. Teach your student to set challenging yet attainable goals.
- Don’t assume a one-size-fits-all approach
Learning happens differently for every child. Consider your own teaching style and its effectiveness, and make some adjustments where necessary to cater to your students’ individual needs.
- Don’t glorify rote memorization
Memorization may have its utility in learning, but it isn’t an ideal learning technique. Relying too much on memorization erodes creativity and diminishes the students’ ability to be innovative.
- Don’t confine learning to the core curriculum
For kids who find it difficult to learn, sticking to lesson plans and the core curriculum can strip them of the pleasure of learning. Rather, create excitement by allowing kids to choose topics they are passionate about.
- Don’t rely on avoiding failure
Failure is an inevitable part of the learning process. Part of imparting a growth mindset involves teaching kids to move past their mistakes and failures.
- Don’t create instability by disrupting the structure without cause.
When it comes to making changes of any significance, always communicate them to your students let them know the reason behind the changes. While adaptability is vital, changes ought to be done in a thoughtful way so as not to undermine your students’ sense of stability.