Given the title of this blog, I often have visitors who come looking for a list or explanation of the challenges of teaching. While I do talk about the challenges that I face as a teacher, I'd like to present something a little more accessible for people who arrive here via those searches!
The Challenge of Behaviour Management - This is possibly one of the most significant challenges I faced as a beginning teacher. I still find it a constant challenge as I get to know the intricacies of each child and work towards bringing out their best. Here are some posts on behaviour management.
The Challenge of Planning and Programming - This is one of my favourite parts of teaching. I love creating new learning experiences and nutting out a plan. I like having some things planned out to the letter and having other things that are fluid and generally flexible. There are many factors to consider when programming a unit of work and it helps to start out with some sort of template to guide your planning. You can see examples of some of my programs here.
The Challenge of Assessment - This challenge relates to the planning and programming phase, but takes it a step further. Teachers are constantly storing away information about the children they teach in order to improve learning opportunities for their classes. When it comes time for report writing assessment helps teachers to give a more accurate overview of student performance and helps to determine grades with a greater level of objectiveness. The challenge is in selecting assessment tools which allow students to best present what they know and teachers to best access this data. Click here for a more detailed post about assessment.
The Challenge of Communication with Parents -Children learn so much more effectively when there is effective communication between school and home. In past years I have used Newsletters, My Classes, blogging and email to update parents about what is happening in the classroom. It also helps to involve the school community in special activities and invite parents to assist with reading or other roles in the class. The beginning of a school year is a particularly good time to start building this relationship. For more details on communicating with parents check out Link4Learning.
The Challenge of Differentiation - Classes are made up of students with differing interests, abilities, skills and knowledge. For this reason, one-size-DOES-NOT-fit-all. Teachers face the challenge of meeting the variety of needs they are confronted with. I try to do this through the lessons I prepare and consider this in planning and programming. For examples, look at some of the things we have been doing in class in our Friday Fun posts.
The Challenge of Technology - This varies from teacher to teacher, school to school. In some schools the challenge is learning how to use the technologies available. In others it may be learning how to teach using minimal technologies. Whatever the situation, teachers ask themselves "What are the tools I can be using to most effectively teach my students what they need to know?" Every Tuesday I share Tech Tips that you can try out in your classroom.
The Challenge of Teaming - The job of teaching can be made easier through cooperation and collaboration amongst teachers. So much can be learnt from considering the perspectives of others and building on ideas together. Effective teaming leads to better results for both students and teachers. The challenges are in establishing an effective team and working towards its continued success through regular productive interaction. Read more here.
Please leave your comments about the challenges you face as a teacher.