As a teacher, your students look to you for leadership, but there’s so much you can learn from your pupils.
By seeing things through your student’s eyes, you can gain valuable insight into their understanding of specific lessons, their engagement level, what’s working with the curriculum, and what isn’t.
“Step into the shoes of your students to understand how they see math to enhance how you will teach them,” suggests one Spirit of Math Schools teacher.
Here are some tips for educators to learn from their students and look at things from their perspective:
See Things Their Way
Gain valuable insight into the thinking process of your students by completing the problems you present to them in class on your own! Be sure to complete the problems without looking at the answers so you can experience first-hand your student’s thinking process and to pinpoint what prior knowledge and skills the students will need to complete the problems successfully.
Guide Students Towards Disciplined Discovery
Draw ideas from your students by asking them questions. Instead of simply “teaching” and “instructing” your students, it’s important to guide them towards critical ideas and making their own disciplined discovery by asking them the right questions. While you might know your course material inside and out, it’s still important to include thoughtful questions in your lesson plan as it can be difficult to come up with them on the fly.
It is also important to anticipate what answers your students will give to your questions, as this will aid in reformulating your queries to lead them in the right direction.
Don’t Make Assumptions
Although at Spirit of Math, our curriculum is high-paced and we expect our students to keep up, don’t assume they’ll always have a firm grasp of the material. When teaching, be sure to ask your students the right questions to get a feel for where they stand in terms of comprehending the material. When you identify if your students are equipped with the right skills and knowledge needed to tackle a concept, you’ll be able to build bridge to support the newly presented material.
Why do you think it’s important to look at things from your student’s perspective? What can you learn from them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!