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sábado, 24 de dezembro de 2011

Learning how to recognize a teacher's neurological strengths and weaknesses


Watch this cool video and see whether you are good at using the two brain-hemispheres.The more you can see the two images in each picture, the easier it will be for you to reach your student in your lesson. To understand a little more about it, read the text below and see the implications of it for your lessons.

By better understanding our own neurological strengths and weaknesses, we can adapt our lessons to reach all of our students. Have you ever had a student who starts to draw every time you teach a new concept or explain an assignment?  Or have you ever had a student who  feels ill every time you begin a specific activity or game, and asks to leave the classroom? Why doesn't h/she enjoy it as much as the other students do?
Wouldn't it be wonderful to start the year with a single plan that would ensure that we could reach all of our students? As we know, such a plan does not exist. The students we teach have diverse learning styles that require different approaches. So how can we adapt our teaching to reach and engage as many of them as possible, as often as possible?

Interestingly, the answer lies in first knowing ourselves as teachers. One way to do this is to understand how our own "neurological style" influences the way we teach. Each one of us has a left-, a right-, or a middle-brain preference, and believe it or not this significantly influences our teaching patterns. By understanding the processes at work in the brain, we can better help our students to explore their own individual preferences.

For example, if you are right-brain dominant, it is your intuitive, emotional right hemisphere that guides the decisions you make throughout the day. If you are left-brain dominant, it is your sequential, time-oriented left hemisphere which tells you how to think, what to believe, and what choices to make.

Those who are middle-brain dominant tend to be more flexible than either the left- or the right-brain folks; however, you often vacillate between the two hemispheres when you make decisions. You sometimes get confused when decisions need to be made because, neurologically speaking, you could do most tasks through either a left-brain or a right-brain method!

Our neurological profile essentially guides the way we teach our classes, meaning that left-brain teachers tend to teach in a "left-brain style," right-brain teachers typically teach in a "right-brain style," and middle-brain teachers tend to vary their teaching between the two approaches. As you evaluate your own teaching style, remember that none of these guidelines are set in stone, and that we do not always act according to our preferences. As we know, people are complex and so are their behaviors.

Teachers tend to better reach students who share their same neurological strengths. A strong left-brain teacher, for example, will need to make a conscious effort in order to better reach the strong right-brain students in the classroom.

On the next post, we will look in more detail on the characteristics of  a middle, right / left-brain teacher. It will be posted on December 26.  Don't miss it!

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