Not All Learners Learn the Same

As an educator, it comes as no surprise that I am also a lifelong learner. This skill, if you even want to call it that, has helped me in tremendous ways, but has also hurt me in more ways than I can count. For example, my love of learning has brought me back to school, where I am in pursuit of a master’s degree. However, it has also brought me to many downfalls and “road blocks” in my classroom.

The biggest thing that I have learned as a lifelong learner would have to be the fact that not all learners learn the same – the same way, the same style, the same time, etc. There is no “right” way to learn; there is only the right way for you as an individual. This is not something that is easy to determine, and some people spend most of their lives trying to determine what their learning “style” is.

This was an idea that struck me hard and fast in my first few weeks of teaching. I would attempt (and fail) at making a uniform activity for my students that I just had a gut feeling would be perfect. The kids would knock it out of the park. Boy, was I wrong. About 25% of students hit a homerun, but most just barely squeaked out with a single; I don’t even want to mention the strikeouts. It was at this moment that I truly realized that learning is not the same for everyone.

As educators, we need to address this idea that learning looks different for everyone, and that is okay. It’s wonderful in fact. We need to take that difference we see and turn it into something beautiful within our classrooms. All learners learn different; it is our job to help them embrace the differences, not make them stand out.

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