By Halie Wingo
Each student’s learning style can affect students educational career throughout high school and the teachers are challenged with the task of reaching every student and making a connection.
English teacher Katie DeClercq and FACS teacher Becky Canary face these challenges daily when trying to make connections with students.
“I think one thing that I like to do is when they come in, in the morning or whatever period, I’ll just say ‘what did you do over the weekend’ or ‘Hows your day going’ or sometimes if I know that they are involved in outside activities, I’ll try to go to their game or cheerleading or whatever it is,” Canary said.
DeClercq also connects to her students academically and uses her teaching experience to make sure everyone can learn without losing focus.
“I try, for one, to make sure we’re not doing the same activity for the whole class because a lot of times people tend to tune out so I try to mix things up and have us move from one activity to another,” DeClercq explained.
Spanish teacher Amanda Graves likes to make connections to her students to make sure everyone knows the expectations and understands them.
“I start with making sure everyone knows the rules and the expectations are clear. That’s the hardest thing. I think most students like or dislike teachers based on how well or not well they enforce their rules. So I start there so that we get that out of the way and then I try to get to know everybody,” Graves said.
Connecting with students is important to any student’s education. WCHS Freshman Avery Turner is a cheerleader. She likes Michael Conley, choir teacher, because because of his attitude in classes.
“He gives good energy to the room, like when we’re in Choir or Expressions and he really sets the mood for our practices after school,” Turner said.
Graves likes to make sure she uses her time to remediate students who are struggling and help them understand.
“That really has to be one of your goals, to make sure that everybody understands. There is no one way that’s going to get all 33 kids in my classroom, but i can try. And then when I have to go back, there are fewer kids that I have to go back and help individually,” Graves said.
Different learning styles can affect learning, but with the right teachers, learning preferences should not affect grades. Many teachers, including DeClercq, try to make sure everyone learns in her class. “The goal is that the learning styles doesn’t affect their grades because I should be able to connect with all of them and that’s something that I try to do, to make sure that I am connecting,” DeClercq explained.
DeClercq also likes to make sure she can reteach in different ways to make sure that if her class didn’t understand it one way, she can do it differently.
“I like being able to take the time to reteach if I didn’t do it right the first time and changing the way I do it when I reteach it,” she said.
Graves also has many tactics to make sure students in her class learn all of the material she teaches every day. She likes to make sure every learning style is hit.
“So every day, every lesson that I write, I try to hit every learning style every day. So a lot of times students don’t understand why we do things a certain way. I try to have a powerpoint up for my visual learners, we get up and we move around at least once a day for our movement learners to try to get some activity, or for conjugations we will point to whom we’re talking about when we conjugate so that counts,” Graves explained.
Graves also likes to make sure every person gets the help they need with every subject in her class. Utilizing fourth period is an important part of the learning process in her class, and she makes sure everyone gets the time and help they need with her.
“Every time we take an assessment I look at that bottom section of students and I try to figure out why are they missing this. Were they absent from class, did they not get the practice that they need? You kind of fall into one or two categories, either you’re not doing your job as a student, to I need to do more as a teacher for you,” said Graves.
Teachers at WCHS try to help their students do well and succeed no matter their learning style or the teacher’s teaching style. Communicating well with others in the classroom and being willing to work is an important part of education and it can be beneficial to find what works best for you.