Alonso Miguel Haislop Rodriguez
Professor Mary McAbee
31 October 2017
Effective Teaching Strategies
An ongoing situation many American students face is the lack of proper teaching strategies. Teaching strategies are a fundamental aspect of academic development and improvement. As some may have observed in their personal encounters with teachers, abysmal teaching can be detrimental to a student’s academic development and motivation to succeed scholastically. Fortunately, as a seven-year-old second grader life presented me with a quintessential teacher named Señora Maldonado. Señora Maldonado applied various effective teaching strategies throughout the year, consequently providing my classmates and I with a higher level of education most second graders did not possess access to. The beneficial teaching strategies incorporated in my second-grade classroom included: the incorporation of educational psychology, cooperative learning, and differentiated instruction.
Perhaps the most effective teaching strategy utilized by Señora Maldonado was her own way of subliminally incorporating educational psychology. This strategy is based on numerous psychological principles that encourage learning which, at the time, were simplified in order to accommodate to her second-grade students. Señora Maldonado consistently found effective ways to attract attention from her students, on occasions even standing on classroom tables in order to trigger curiosity from her students. Once in possession of the classroom’s undivided attention, Señora Maldonado would take advantage of the opportunity to subliminally, yet firmly engrave her valuable principles on learning in her students through interesting lectures, all while keeping her students engaged. She thoroughly believed that motivation was the key to success, which was a philosophy she not only taught by, but lived by. For example, she would motivate her students by helping them set realistic, yet challenging academic goals. Furthermore, she would present to her students the academic progress they were achieving, rewarding her students with desirable prizes. This insightful strategy led to the development of an ambitious mindset for all of her students, proving to them that they are capable of progressing. The simple act of one understanding that he/she possesses the ability to progress promotes more progress. (Fenton, “Using the ‘Top 20 Principles’.”).
Another effective teaching strategy applied in class by Señora Maldonado is cooperative learning. Cooperative learning provides students with the opportunity to observe different points of view, potentially inspiring students to be more innovative and to come up with more ideas and ways to do things. Additionally, Señora Maldonado was aware that a comfortable environment is beneficial for a student. She attained comfort amongst her students through cooperative learning in group projects, and she continuously ensured that all students were comfortable with each other. This comfortable environment profoundly promoted class participation, which is also a fundamental component of academic development. Moreover, cooperative learning also exposes many students to fundamental skills such as: problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and cognition amongst others. (Cox, “Top 5 Teaching Strategies”). These skills are all essential to a successful academic career. Señora Maldonado possessed the ability of creating a positive learning environment in which students could form relationships with other students while developing many important social skills. Through cooperative learning, Señora Maldonado also helped encourage an enthusiastic attitude towards school and class, making teaching and learning an easier process for all.
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The teaching strategy with the highest potential of having a substantial impact on a student’s academic development is differentiated instruction. As we all know, everybody thinks differently and has their own ways of doing things. Differentiated instruction derives from this understanding and focuses on students individually, accommodating to each student’s learning needs. Though the least efficient way of teaching, differentiated instruction proves to be an operative method when dealing with struggling students. Usually, the reason behind consistent failure by struggling students is a lack of accommodation to a student’s learning needs. This teaching flaw is targeted and eliminated through differentiated instruction, which offers students the opportunity of testing different avenues to learning. (“Differentiated Instruction”). The goal of learning still remains the same for all students, but not all students will take the same steps toward acquiring knowledge. Señora Maldonado flawlessly exemplified differentiated instruction through learning stations, in which students would adopt their own diverse ways of performing tasks. Through differentiated instruction, Señora Maldonado ensured that all students were progressing and taking whatever steps they needed to take in order to reach their full potential. Differentiated instruction has several positive effects on students as it promotes creativity, responsibility, and a healthy introspection.
In conclusion, Señora Maldonado’s teaching strategies of educational psychology, cooperative learning, and differentiated instruction all prove to be effective as they have numerous positive effects on students. These teaching strategies have all had a substantial impact on the academic development of many students, helping students reach their full scholastic potential by providing them with the certain skills to do so. These skills include: problem solving, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, eloquence, and efficiency amongst others. Not only do students acquire many skills through these teaching strategies, but (usually at younger ages) students may also develop a series of traits which can help lead them to success through not only their academic careers, but through life in general. These traits which a student may utilize to approach different academic and life situations can be identified as: creativity, self-confidence, responsibility, ambition, determination, motivation, enthusiasm, and optimism amongst many others. In essence, Señora Maldonado is the epitome of an effective teacher, as she has made it evident that proper and effective teaching strategies can have a substantial impact on a student’s academic development, providing numerous positive effects on students. If properly applied, effective teaching strategies can help our country advance academically, potentially decreasing the number of current high school dropouts by year, being an ignominious 1.2 million. (Miller, “Partnering for Education Reform”).
Cox, Janelle. “Top 5 Teaching Strategies.” TeachHUB, TeachHUB, 25 Mar. 2014, www.teachhub.com/top-5-teaching-strategies.
“Differentiated Instruction.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Oct. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differentiated_instruction.
Fenton, Nancy. “Using the ‘Top 20 Principles’.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, 1 Sept. 2015, www.apa.org/ed/precollege/ptn/2015/09/top-20-principles.aspx.
Miller, Tony. “Partnering for Education Reform.” U.S. Department of Education. Accessed February 18, 2015