It is important that teachers have a variety of strategies to reach all different types of students. Some important teaching strategies include management, reflection and, of course, variety!
The seven core teaching strategies can actually be a variety of seven teaching strategies that work for you and your students. Some school districts may develop their own list and seasoned teachers have their own repertoire. Young teachers need to try a variety of strategies and see what works best for them. Every teacher is different and every classroom is different. What works one year may not work the next.
The Priceless Teaching Strategies website gives its Essential Core Teaching Strategies. And, other websites give their core or effective teaching strategies. What it really comes down to is engaging students so that they learn in a safe environment with teachers who strive to stay at the top of their game by continuing to be life-long learners through professional development.
After 19 years in the classroom, my seven most important teaching strategies are as follows:
- Inviting, positive, and safe learning environments
- Good classroom management
- Variety of instruction
- Variety of assessments
- Reflective teaching
- Collaboration with other teachers
- Professional development or growth
Classro om Environments
If students do not feel safe or feel that they are in a positive learning environment, many times they will not be able to meet their learning potential. When students feel conflict, they will many times focus on the conflicts instead of the content that needs to be learned.
Teachers need to be fair, positive, and consistent for students to feel comfortable in the classroom. In addition, teachers need to expect the students to act the same. If students are mean to each other on a regular basis, students will dread going to class.
Many new teachers struggle with managing the behavior of their students. If students are not engaged in the lesson learning, they are many times being disruptive, taking away learning opportunities for other students. A teacher needs to have solid classroom management strategies. Without good classroom management, little learning will happen in the classroom.
More Important Teaching Strategies
Variety of Instruction
Students become bored with the same thing every day. It is important to use a variety of instructional strategies. One of the most widely used teaching strategies is direct instruction. It sometimes receives negative press because the teacher is giving the instruction directly to the students, usually through notes; however, it can be a great way to deliver background information for a unit. The key is to use it along with a variety of other teaching strategies to keep the students engaged.
Teachers can try the cooperative or collaborative learning strategy, jigsaw strategy, constructivist strategy, differentiation strategy, Socratic seminar strategy, etc.
Variety of Assessments
In addition to having a variety of instructional strategies, teachers should also use a variety of assessment strategies. There are formative and summative assessments. However, there are more ways to assess students than by using tests and quizzes. In addition, teachers can use rubrics. Rubrics can assess writing, projects, speeches, etc.
And, of course, there are standardized tests that assess student achievement, which most states mandate to meet the No Child Left Behind Act.
Teachers who continuously think about their practice every day are reflective in their teaching. After each lesson, teachers can make notes on what worked and what did not work. In addition, they can figure out what they need to change in their future lessons to meet the needs of the students.
Collaborating with Other Teachers
Great teachers do not go into their rooms and shut their doors. They talk with other teachers and share what is working. They collaborate with others to create integrated units and work together to help students. Seasoned teachers know what has worked in the past and young teachers know cutting edge strategies. They can both work together to make great lessons together.
Professional Development or Growth
Once a teacher finishes his or her bachelor's degree, he or she is not done. There is the master's degree to finish, along with a myriad of workshops that a teacher can attend to improve his or her teaching practice. Teachers are supposed to be lifelong learners. The reason is because teachers need to keep abreast of the changes in education and what will help their students learn.
These seven core teaching strategies help me to become the best teacher I can be. I know I can keep improving by continuing to add to my list of strategies through professional development.