Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fancy Teaching Strategies Don't Matter

When you follow teachers on twitter there is always some new trend. From #Ditchtextbook #GameBasedLearning, #BreakoutEDU, Project Based Learning, flexible seating and getting rid of the teacher's desk. It can be overwhelming. Then I realized something. Honestly, none of that matters! Your students could care less if you had a teacher's desk or you have cool new furniture in your classroom. I am not saying that those are bad things. I am saying that those things do not make a great teacher. There is only one main thing that your students care about:

I am not saying that the above listed strategies are not effective. But, they are not effective if your students don't think you care about them. Any teacher that cares about their students will of course try anything to help their students learn. But, we have all seen teachers try different strategies and not be successful. Then they complain about how promoting student choice and creating autonomous learners is a waste of time. The students are too lazy, too immature, or a myriad of other excuses about why students are failures in their classroom. The solution is easy. The first step is for students to know that you care. And since as an educator you care, you will do everything that you can to find a way to engage all students in your class in learning. Which will lead to you trying new strategies. As every teacher knows once you have a relationship with students there is no telling the amount of learning that they can accomplish! So, stop stressing out about trying every new strategy that you hear about! Relax. You are doing your best! You care, now just do your best everyday to show your students that you do care about them.