Teaching styles vary among teachers, affect learning

Kirby Child, Front Page Editor

With almost 200 teachers here, each has their own unique style of teaching.
Students believe that the wide variety of teaching styles is detrimental to learning. “It’s unfair to students who have different teachers for the same class because they get a different experience,” junior Maya Pollack said.

Since students have seven different teachers a day, they experience a variety of teaching styles. “I think that learning from different teaching styles makes students more well rounded, and different approaches allow students to learn various ways to problem solve,” English teacher Lindsay Vance said.

While teachers may rely heavily on lecture, others try out different methods. “I think every teacher has their own style that they find most effective, but the problem is that students don’t always find that style most effective,” junior Ryan Meyer said.

While every teacher teaches in a different way, every student learns differently. Teachers try their best to accommodate for the wide variety of learning styles present in their classes. “Each teacher is unique and has their own skill set. Also, each teacher knows how to teach based on the students they have,” social studies teacher Maima Barclay said.

Teachers look for students’ strengths and weaknesses, so they can provide adequate opportunities for students to use their strengths. “I provide students with different types of opportunities to be successful,” Vance said.

Whether teachers place students in groups or pairs, call on students during a lesson or create activities to get students talking, getting students engaged in class is essential to learning. “Student centered lesson plans and student interactions are important,” Barclay said.

Group work is a controversial method among teachers and students alike. Group work is considered an effective way for teachers to engage their students. “I think that group work can be effective when done in a thoughtful and constructive manner,” Vance said.

English teacher Alton Lightsey is keen on group work because he believes learning to work well with others is a useful life skill. “One of the few things you take away from high school is how to collaborate with others,” Lightsey said.

Group work can present a disadvantage to students who do not work well with others. Being forced to work in a group is often thought of as unfair. “Depend[ing] on the project, there should always be opportunities for students to work independently,” Vance said.

Working with a partner is a way to enhance collaboration in the classroom, but when working in larger groups, there is often a leader of the group who may muffle the thoughts and ideas of their group mates. “I don’t think [group work] should be the only method teachers use. Often one person in the group dominates,” Lightsey said.

Even though working with a group on a project or an assignment requires a group effort, some students slack off. This poses an issue because not everyone gets the grade they deserve. The easy solution is for teachers to grade group projects separately for each student. “Group assignments should always be an individual grade,” Lightsey said.

Although teachers tend to vary their style of teaching, the students still get the same quality of learning. “My teachers have different styles but they all work for me in different way,” sophomore Emily Levine said.