It is abundantly clear that today’s teachers are responsible for students with a diverse range of learning abilities. The 21st-century teacher does not have the luxury of picking the “best” student and then leaving the rest of the students for experts who specialize in children with behavioral issues or learning disorders.
Today’s teachers must develop instructional styles that work well in diverse classrooms. Effective teaching methods engage gifted students, as well as slow-learning children and those with attention deficit tendencies. This is where Differentiated Instruction and a balanced mix of teaching styles can help reach all students in a given classroom — not just the few who respond well to one particular style of teaching.
The wonderment of teaching, what author/educator Dr. Harry Wong refers to as “that ah-ha moment” when a child “gets it,” is one of the most rewarding and seemingly elusive benefits of becoming a teacher. This transference of knowledge from expert to student is an art form and a skill. Fortunately, both can be learned and perfected.
Knowing how to engage students begins with selecting the teaching style that’s right for you. And remember, even though you may prefer one teaching style over another, you must find the style that works best for your students! Try different styles to meet different objectives, and always challenge yourself to find ways to reach each student. This article is according to Carol Ann Tomlinson of the University of Virginia.