“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” Psalm 1:3.
I used to think all plants were the same. Plant it, water it, and it will grow. I had so much more to learn. One plant will thrive in the sun, while another will shrivel up and die in the same sun. Tropicals need plenty of heat and humidity; others can tolerate frost. God has made so many kinds of plants that each thrive in the proper environment. Know your plants well, and you will have a much better garden with much less work. Your children are like that too. Know your students’ strengths and weaknesses; know what motivates or discourages them. Some thrive in the center of attention, while others seem to do better in the shadows, much more alone. Some need be told but once, while others need to be shown as well as told. To be an effective teacher, I had to learn to distinguish the subtle differences in my students and then strive to provide the environment that would make them thrive.
Whenever you are going to present to a group, you must consider who makes up the group and how best you can reach them. Sometimes you will present to a diverse group with different backgrounds and learning styles. When you present to a diverse group, you must try to consider all learning styles. However, if you are presenting to a more homogeneous group of learners, you may choose to emphasize one strategy over the others. The topic of your presentation may also lend itself to one style over others. Your main objective is to involve the audience and to teach them about your subject. There are three recognized basic types of learners:
VISUAL LEARNERS – SHOW IT
‣ Visual learners learn primarily through the written word.
‣ They tend to be readers who diligently take down every word.
- Provide written materials and exercises
- Write key words on board or flip chart
- Ask them to write a response
- Use visuals or graphics
- Ask them to be recorder in a group
- Involve them through visual/spatial sense
AUDITORY LEARNERS – SAY IT
‣ Auditory learners learn primarily through listening.
‣ They focus their ears and attention on your words, listening carefully to everything you say.
‣ They like to talk rather than write and relish the opportunity to discuss what they’ve heard.
- State the information
- Ask the audience to describe specific information
- Provide discussion periods
- Encourage questions
- Foster small group participation
- Utilize audiovisuals and audio resource
KINESTHETIC LEARNERS – DO IT
‣ Kinesthetic learners learn better by doing.
‣ This group learns best when they can practice what they’re learning.
‣ They want to have their hands on the keyboard, the hammer, or the test tube because they think in terms of physical action
- Demonstrate how a principle works
- Ask them to practice the technique
- Encourage underlining and highlighting keywords.
- Provide real-life simulations
- Offer hands-on activities
- Involve them physically
Some students are a little of all the above learning styles. Know your students. Study them; enlist their input. Teach using a variety of styles to reach a variety of students and with amazement you will watch your garden grow.
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Jim Carey was the first staff member hired by Pastor Trieber in 1976. For over 40 years, he has served in many capacities. He has taught in the Christian school since its inception and has taught junior church every Sunday for that entire time as well.