5 Teaching Styles Students Want

teaching methods

It only makes sense to teach our kids the way they want to be taught.  If they enjoy our teaching style, they will get more out of our lessons.  Of course, we can’t constantly cater to every student’s whim, but the more we shape our delivery to what they enjoy the better chance we have of getting our teachings to stick and to having engaged, motivated students. So, what teaching styles do students want? 

  1. Lecture:

Believe it or not, some older students actually enjoy lecture-based instruction.  It’s straightforward with no guesswork, and this is what some students need.  They crave that structured, no-nonsense direction.  They want the answers and don’t want to play guessing games.  It’s also doing them a courtesy by preparing them for a lecture in college courses.  Now, I know this is the opposite of what Common Core tells us to do, but like all things in education, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

  1. Coaching:

When we coach our students we show them the way something is supposed to be done through slideshows, videos, or other examples, and then they take a whack at it. It’s that idea of “I do, we do, you do” and it works.  It’s scaffolded instruction that makes it a lot less intimidating than just assigning a task and expecting students to figure it out.  We are currently teaching a generation who is used to being spoon-fed and having their handheld, and here is a safe way to break that cycle and release responsibility back to the pupil. Students like this type of teaching because it allows them to feel competent without an overwhelming struggle.

  1. Facilitate:

Like coaching, the teacher in this style of teaching facilitates and motivates collaborative discussion.  The goal is for deeper thinking, critical analysis, and to form big ideas independently.  Instead of handing over the information, students come across it on their own, leading to self-actualization and feelings of competency. It also feels more like a discussion rather than a typical classroom, so students feel more like adults and feel like their opinions are valid.

  1. Student Lead:

Seen usually in labor science classes, this type of teaching occurs when students are basically running the show.  Collaboratively, they work with their peers to find a solution, using the teacher more as a consultant rather than a leader.  This is valuable because students will make choices which will lead to error or success–both beneficial for learning.  They are empowered to find answers to real situations or problems.

  1. All of the Above:

A blended style of teaching incorporates all of the teaching styles I touched on above.  Students like this because it keeps them on their toes and keeps the class from becoming monotonous.  One day be a facilitator, the next be a lecturer.  This way you are meeting the needs of all students at some point, instead of just sticking to one style of teaching, leaving the students who don’t learn best from that form behind.

What do I use?

I think I am more of a number 5.  I teach 8th grade English, and because they are so rambunctious and have such short attention spans, it’s vital for me to constantly be changing up my lesson plans.  At the same time however, I like to keep a sort of routine because many kids need that.  I usually start each class with vocabulary instruction and then move on to whatever we need to cover that day.  I always put a schedule on the board so they know what to expect, and I also ask them what they like best.  I show them that I value their input and this also forms a bond of trust between us, showing them that I care what they get out of my class.

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This article is written by Lauren Bubb, an English Teacher at Frankfort-Schuyler Central Schools
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