Teachers as Learners

In order to become an effective teacher, you must understand how humans learn. Of course, there are so many different methods of learning. For example, some people are visual learners, kinesthetic learners, auditory learners, etc. It is imperative that I remember that not all of my students are going to learn the same way, and therefore a variety of learning activities are essential to creating a successful learning environment. Throughout my work in Digital Literacy this semester, I have seen that even though I thought I was an auditory learner, I have benefited immensely from different instructional methods. This helped me realize that as a teacher, implementing different teaching styles will be beneficial to every student, even if that style isn’t necessarily their preferred method of learning.

Through my ILP, I realized that confidence is probably the most crucial aspect of learning. If I didn’t feel confident in my abilities, I wan unable to pick up material as quickly and retain it as long. The moment that I started to trust in my learning abilities, I excelled far beyond my own expectations. I think that best way to boast someone’s confidence, is to give the person as much independence as possible. When the teacher, parent, or adult steps back, the child discovers that they are capable of completing tasks, solving problems, and make decisions autonomously. If the teachers, parent, or adult hovers over the child, they feel as though they are incapable of furthering themselves on their own. I will strive to  give students as much control over their education as I possibly can.

The biggest thing that I learned about learning is that short term memory and long term memory require completely different methods of instruction. During my ILP, I had committed so much information into my short term memory, and for at least one week I would retain it. However, after a month past I retained maybe half of that information if I were lucky. I realized how crucial it is to evaluate students months after instruction to get an accurate picture of what they had actually retained.

Lastly, this semester has shown me that humans learn out of need. If the student does not come across a need for the information then they will not put in their full effort and they will not retain the information as well. I learned that teaching students why we learn what we do is just as important as teaching what we teach. Students may not find interest in everything that they study, but they do need to deem everything that they study as meaningful if they are to have a chance at reaching their full potential.

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