3 Ways to Enhance Teaching and Learning at Your School
K-12 principals must equip their teachers with the right knowledge and tools to teach in a way best suited to the personality of each student.
It’s undoubtedly been a rough few years for K-12 education. On the positive side of things, many educators see the upheaval and stress caused by the pandemic as the perfect catalyst for needed improvements to American school systems.
People are asking how education can emerge stronger than before COVID-19, with answers ranging from increased funding to accelerated innovation and technology to stronger parent engagement.
However we get there, educators and students need meaningful support to enhance their teaching and learning. As a K-12 principal, you can provide that support through sweeping institutional change or detailed personal interactions.
Here at True Colors, we know that the best educators acknowledge the unique differences in others and bring out the strengths and talents in those around them. That applies to you, the principal, as well as all your teachers and support staff.
To help your teachers create environments where everyone can excel, we advise implementing the following three ways to enhance teaching and learning.
1: Encourage Student Learning Groups & Surveys
Encourage your teachers to utilize student learning groups and assessments as a first step to enhancing teaching and learning at your school.
The Dominican University of California’s School of Liberal Arts and Education recommends teachers, separate students into groups based on things they have in common. To do this well, one strategy they provide is to “survey students on their interests and hobbies. You can tie subject matter in with some of the topics — math with sports statistics, history with food, and culture. With the right questions, your students’ answers can help you separate them into learning groups.”
It’s easier for a student to learn in a classroom where each learning style is considered, thus naturally reducing classroom disruption and gaining maximum cooperation. In a small group, there’s more freedom (or pressure, depending on how a student feels) to engage with the learning material and their classmates. Separating students into learning groups based on mutual interests will help your teachers better gauge each student’s strengths and frustrations.
2: Equip Teachers With the Right Knowledge & Tools
Identifying students’ strengths and learning gaps is a helpful start, but truly enhancing teaching and learning at your school will take more than that. You must equip your teachers with the right knowledge and tools to teach in a way that is best suited to the personality of each student.
Just as everyone has a unique personality, each person has a preferred learning style. If the need of the learner isn’t being met, students may feel distant, disengaged, and disconnected from their teachers, their classmates, and their futures. On the other hand, when your teachers understand how students prefer to learn, they become more effective by addressing students’ individual needs. This leads to increased student engagement and performance.
Partnering with a consulting and training company like True Colors and utilizing their K-12 solutions will equip your teachers to understand the needs of each learner and then create environments where everyone can thrive.
3: Accept, Respect, & Celebrate Differences
Our third way to enhance teaching and learning at your school is to promote a culture that accepts, respects and celebrates differences. Every teacher, student, staff member, and volunteer involved with your school has their own personality, strengths, frustrations, cultural backgrounds, and teaching or learning style.
Building a culture of inclusivity and celebration is a great way to validate your community members and encourage them to meaningfully engage with their teaching and learning. From daily verbal praise to weekly awards to catered lunches, there are many ways to celebrate and improve K-12 teaching practices and student performance.
Teaching and Learning for Everyone
When you encourage student learning groups and assessments, equip your educators with the right knowledge and tools to teach to every learning style, and promote a culture that celebrates differences you’ll greatly enhance teaching and learning at your school. No matter what other challenges or solutions come your way, you’ll know you’ve done your best to move your school forward.