I’d be very surprised to find a teacher that has fallen asleep at night thinking, “In what ways can I bore my students tomorrow?” However, school is changing — and with it, so are the roles of teachers and students.
Rows of individual student desks with a teacher in the front of the room are becoming a thing of the past. Collaborative and flexible workspaces with multiple teachers and support educators are the new norm.
The way we consume information has also changed, and teachers are no longer the sole sources of information with a duty to impart knowledge to our students. Students are consuming media and information every day — from the time they wake up until the time they fall asleep. They ask Google a question to be met with an instant response.
How might we adapt our roles as educators to facilitate learning and thinking in an impactful, purposeful way in this new learning environment?
There’s no doubt that expectations for student achievement have increased exponentially over the past two decades. To help students meet these expectations, schools have shifted to more evidence-based strategies, like peer teaching.
Peer teaching isn’t a single strategy — it is a full menu of learning techniques that can enhance student achievement, content knowledge, and student engagement. However, peer teaching can also be problematic for teachers, because employing this particular method means that students will be teaching each other.
You might be thinking…
- My students aren’t experts. How can they teach this content to one another?
- What if they teach and learn the information incorrectly? Even if they do get it right, will the learning be superficial?
- What if parents bristle at the idea of students learning from students when the stakes are so high for student assessment?
- What about my professional responsibility? I’m the teacher, after all. Isn’t teaching my job?
All of these are valid concerns and worthy of some debate. But equally valid is the wealth of research that shows peer teaching works.
Are you ready to explore peer teaching in your classroom?
Whether you’re ready for just a taste or a full menu of strategies, we’ve got something for you to try!
Every teacher strives for an active classroom buzzing with engaged and eager students. However, even the most experienced teachers face days when it seems like they’re the only one talking and the students have simply tuned out. Or, perhaps your students are so engaged and so eager to participate that you’re having a tough time making sure that all student voices are heard.
Silence can bring even the best lesson to a screeching halt and the hand that never seems to go down is certainly a challenge. But whatever the reason behind your participation woes, if you have 12 minutes, we have 10 top-notch strategies you can learn today and try out tomorrow to boost active learning and student participation for all students in your classroom.