Just a recap on what we did in class today for others, we continued to work on the case study that I had completed a previous response for. We got into groups and tried to determine the best way to merge the two classes and teach them effectively.
Coming up with a project plan merger definitely wasn’t an easy task. I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, but I was hoping for a solution that could work for all students. A few things that we considered when merging these two classrooms were the decorations around the classroom, seating arrangement and where students will sit, how we will get the class to be more comfortable around one another, the type of material we should begin with, how we should present it (teaching methods), and also how we could accommodate for every student (including the student who has a child). However, of all the things discussed, I feel that the teaching methods and adapting the classroom to fit everyone’s needs was the most difficult question to answer.
Trying to organize and teach a class so that it fits the needs of all students cannot be done in one way. It is nearly impossible to be able to meet the needs of all our students when teaching a lesson, especially if you have a diverse and new group of students. Even if you do make individual adaptations, you cannot meet every single students needs, especially if you don’t know your students or they won’t open up to you. So when determining which teaching method to use that will accommodate as many students needs as possible, which should you choose? You also can’t use the same teaching methods over and over again because then students will get bored of it or for those students that it doesn’t meet, it will just cause them to either fall back or work that much harder to keep up (which if its students with low retention rates, this wouldn’t be very encouraging for them!). Also, which students do you choose to meet their needs? You would think the bottom two thirds of the class since the students doing above average should be smart already and should be capable enough to be able to adapt and change to the different ways of teaching, right? But would that really be fair to them? Would this cause them to lose interest in school or fall behind? Also, what if the bottom 2/3 of the students is really where all the diversity of learning needs is? Then how would you adapt to that?
For me, I really think that you just have try and see what works for the majority of your students and if that doesn’t work for the few students that you couldn’t make adaptations to fit as a class, then you will have to try to make individual adaptations as best as you can. You also can’t just use one teaching method because it could get boring and/or wear the students out. Using a variety of teaching methods and trying to find ways to make them in charge of their learning I believe will be key to keeping them engaged and involved. Also, knowing and understanding your students is going to play a key role in this situation and could greatly increase your chances of understanding how to maximize the learning for all your students in your class. The second teacher (at least in this situation) I believe will also play a key role and it will be important to work with him/her.