For any successful learning-teaching endeavor, it is always best to consider the variation in human diversity. This is because we are living in a very big world where lots of nationalities, cultures, traditions and personalities collide and interact with each other. But if you are a teacher or an educator, how will you address the human diversity in education (which may include the teacher per se and the students) and at the same time maintain a good quality of education that the students deserve to achieve?
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This paper is aimed at analyzing variations in diversity inside the classroom and how they should best be addressed. More specifically, this paper tackles the concepts of learning styles and approaches, teacher-student relationships and better classroom management considering student-teacher diversity.
Teacher – Student Relationship
We all know that teachers play a very important role in the development of every student. And because of this, it is indeed a very important attribute for every teacher to know, not only the basics of teaching, not only the knowledge or information they are to provide with their students, but also the very process of effective teaching.
To be an effective educator, it is not enough that you know how to teach the subject tasked to you, but also you must learn to keep and maintain the power of enhancing your students’ ability and skills through motivation. This is because the students may sometimes feel a little awkward because they are situated in an area where they are not familiar with all the students, in a sense, they are not in their comfort zones (which is their homes). This is often times the problem in human diversity. Dealing with other people, having to communicate with them, share some ideas with them, allow them to know you and you get to know them, sometimes letting the other people see how you can commit mistakes and correct your mistakes – these are the most common things in human diversification.
Surely, one teacher can meet various kinds of students, students who have different personalities and views towards studying. At the same time, there is also a great possibility that a teacher can meet several “brainy” or intelligent students and several “low” profile students who have slow means of catching up with the subject matter. And as a teacher, he/she must know how to deal with all of these kinds of students. He/she must be well aware of how to be objective in his/her treatment keeping up with his ultimate goal, which is to teach and help develop the students in any way possible.
There are some good suggestions for teaching that will certainly motivate students to learn. These are as follows:
- Use behavioral techniques to help students exert themselves and work toward remote goals.
- Make sure that students know what they are to do, how to proceed, and how to determine when they have achieved goals.
- Do everything possible to satisfy deficiency needs — physiological, safety, belongingness, and esteem.
- Accommodate the instructional program to the physiological needs of your students.
- Make your room physically and psychologically safe.
- Show your students that you take an interest in them and that they belong in your classroom.
- Arrange learning experiences so that all students can gain at least a degree of esteem.
- Enhance the attractions and minimize the dangers of growth choices.
- Direct learning experiences toward feelings of success in an effort to encourage an orientation toward achievement, a positive self-concept, and a strong sense of self-efficacy.
- Make use of objectives that are challenging but attainable and, when appropriate, that involve student input.
- Provide knowledge of results by emphasizing the positive.
- Try to encourage the development of need achievement, self-confidence, and self-direction in students who need these qualities.
- Use achievement-motivation training techniques.
- Use cooperative-learning methods.
- Try to make learning interesting by emphasizing activity, investigation, adventure, social interaction, and usefulness
With these suggestions for motivation, there is a higher percentage guaranteeing that the students would participate eagerly in every classroom discussions; that the bright students will be encouraged to learn more and share more; that even the “less” intelligent ones can have optimistic views in studying making them more participative and less scared to voice out their questions and uncertainties regarding the lectures.
You see, the success of any learning endeavor, or classroom-based teaching for that matter, is not solely dependent on the students’ intellect but on the way an educator or the teacher facilitates the learning.
Learning Styles and Approaches
Students’ successful learning (of whatever age and on wherever place) is highly dependent on the educators and the learning styles and approaches being used on them. The educators are indeed a very important factor in achieving a high level of learning from the students. To them lies the future of the students because the student looks up to them in drawing the path they are to take in all their future endeavors. Likewise, the approaches and the learning styles are the very keys in attaining a fruitful learning session with the students. The learning styles and approaches serve as the bridge and/or connection between the educator and the students.
What is the best learning style that a teacher could adopt for the students?
An effective teacher always has high expectations for students, which also known as positive expectations. Research shows that a teacher’s expectations seem to be linked with a student’s self-concept and achievement. Therefore, it is essential that teachers ensure successful student experiences and reach high standards by exhibiting, with words and actions, high expectations (Curry, 2000).
At the same time, teachers also should meet the expectations of the students. It is imperative that he/she knows what his/her students aim to know with regards to the field of study she/he would be teaching and then provide it to the student. It would be also an advantage if the teacher knows what the expectations of the students on the teacher per se are. Like what are the traits that the students usually look for in a teacher and what to them should be the duties and responsibilities of the teacher, hence the teacher may be able to know how to better treat his/her students.
Needless to say, to be an effective teacher, one must possess adequate knowledge and expertise with whatever subject she/he would be teaching. A teacher must not only create an impression that she/he knows very well the subject, but also he/she must be credible enough to teach the subject. To him/her lies what could be inculcated in the student’s minds; thus, he/she must provide the right knowledge and ideas at the right time and at the proper place. All these are clear reflections of what is in the mind of the teachers that will be passed on to his/her students.
An effective teacher is an excellent classroom manager. Classroom management is the method we use to empower students as they develop responsibility, build character, and master skills. Basically, a teacher should have an effective classroom management scheme for the safety of all students, to set limits, and encourage learning. Classroom management is having a well-organized environment, an instructor who is well prepared, a discipline plan with rules, reasonable consequences/rewards, and students who follow consistent class procedures (Curry, 2000).
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First, the teacher needs to post rules along with consequences and rewards so that the students know from day one what is expected of them. Second, effective teachers make sure to follow through with the discipline plan. Successful classroom management involves not only responding effectively when problems occur, but also preventing the frequent occurrence of problems. The most effective decisions in classroom management are based on a clear concept of the goals and intended outcomes that a teacher wishes to accomplish (Synder and Sutherland, 2004).
Indeed, maintenance of a harmonious human diversity flow in the classroom can easily be maintained if the teacher–student good relationship is also maintained. But because the teacher is the key holder in this aspect, he/she must also know how to initiate the harmonious environment inside the classroom. The teacher himself must know how to deal with different personalities, qualities and capabilities of the students.
Her teaching styles, approaches and classroom management techniques should vary with every need of the students – considering their ages, emotional stability, teaching/learning preferences, knowledge and skills etc. Eventually, the students will soon realize that their differences with their classmates and even with the teacher is just another learning material for them – for they now have to teach themselves to adapt and cope with different people and maintain a positive approach to dealing with different people
Curry, Lisa M. Effective Teaching through High Expectation and Class Management. 2000. USA Gymnastics.Webn.
Effective Instructional Strategies. 2004. Web.
Motivation. 1997.Excerpted from Chapter 11 of Biehler/Snowman, PSYCHOLOGY APPLIED TO TEACHING, 8/e, Houghton Mifflin. Web.
The Cognitive Advantages of Balanced Bilingualism. 2004. Brain Connection.com. Web.
What Makes an Effective Teacher? 2004. Web.
Synder, Angela and Sutherland Kevin, Effective Strategies for Classroom Management. 2004. Web.