Every classroom is made up of students who have varying styles of learning. So how do you ensure that you're creating a learning environment to help every student pursue goals that are achievable for them, in the best way for them? Gaining an insight into your students helps you to position and personalise learning in the right way for all levels and strengths within the group.
Accommodating for a mix of learning styles
It is important to consider how each of your students prefer to communicate, what motivates them and where their strengths lie when you're teaching. For example, some students will prefer to work in groups and amongst these you may have some natural leaders. Others will like to go away with detailed notes that they can later reflect on.
Applying differentiation in the classroom gives every student the best possible chance of managing their own learning and making progress.
Profiling your students will give you an insight into how they prefer to work which is often difficult to gain otherwise. Once you understand the mix of preferred working styles, you will be better positioned to plan and manage progress and achievement in the tasks you set, the groupings you decide and the support you offer, contributing to a positive and inclusive learning environment.
Supporting self-directed study
Self-directed study is often a challenge even for the most motivated and focused students, but it needn't be that way! Equipping students with a deep understanding of the way they like to work and how best to motivate themselves, provide the impetus and insight to manage their time, plan their goals and identify support needs – enabling greater clarity to where teaching staff can invest their time.
So how can you help them to stay motivated and focused?
As a teacher, there is only so much you can do to help a student achieve their best. The responsibility for taking ownership of their education and their future lies with the student.
Every individual has strengths, but may find it difficult to identify them, particularly if they are still young and developing their character and confidence. Profiling students helps them to recognise their strengths and use them to their advantage. Helping students to understand what they are good at and how this can help them at school and beyond, boosts their confidence and gives them the drive to work towards their goals.