Empower your interests through technology and online learning.
GUEST COLUMN | by Chris Waldron
The inherent nature of school curriculums encourage teachers to instruct their students by adhering to strict lessons plans in order to achieve milestones and success on standardized tests. Though necessary, the restrictions this imposes on teachers often limits their abilities to both encourage their students to think outside of the box, and pursue personal interests.
Fortunately, technology and online learning has enabled teachers and students alike to follow their passions outside of classroom, revving the creative engine of both instructors and students alike.
Many children find fascination in subjects that aren’t taught in the classroom.
Pursue: Many pursue teaching because of a fervent interest in a particular subject– whether it be math, science, or the arts. More often than not, however, teachers are not able to actually instruct students on the topics that they are most passionate about. Through online resources, teachers can find students who need instruction on their topics of passion. This relatively new teaching opportunity allows instructors to stay connected to their favorite subjects, leading students to success both inside and outside of the classroom.
Grow: All professionals risk falling into a routine, doing the same thing day in and day out because it’s easier than stepping outside the box. Defaulting to the same lesson plan year after year may save time, but it won’t challenge instructors to improve their skills. Through alternative experiences made possible by technology, teachers can expand their teaching abilities by connecting with students who are a world away. Educating students from different backgrounds can help teachers to gain new perspective on different and creative ways to teach a topic, generating new ideas for formal school courses.
Enlighten: Just as teachers have a responsibility to challenge themselves, they are equally responsible for continuing to challenge their students. Whether a student needs help in catching up to the class, or is accelerating faster than his or her peers, it’s an instructor’s job to point them towards the right resources. Online learning platforms are an excellent solution for both the remedial learner and the bright, bored student– both can connect to an outside instructor to fit their exact needs, allowing instructors stay on track with their syllabus while also ensuring that all students’ needs are being met.
Find A Niche: Technology has created near limitless possibilities for children to find and explore their passions, and many children find fascination in subjects that aren’t taught in the classroom. Encouraging a student’s abilities in an area of their choosing helps to tap into academic curiosity, which ultimately leads to more success in traditional subjects. Exposing children to a wide variety of activities, books, and online learning sites will help them to identify their interests early on.
Build Confidence: At one point or another, every child and young adult faces challenges when it comes to confidence. By finding and pursuing a passion they can deem as their own, children begin to come into their own skin. This not only bodes well for them on a personal level, but also directly translates into classroom success. Without success outside of the classroom, students may question their broader abilities. With confidence gained by finding their niche, students know they can be successful in what they set their mind to and this empowers them in the classroom.
Chris Waldron is the Co-Founder of TakeLessons, a trusted online marketplace for finding highly qualified and well-vetted instructors. Students can follow their dreams and fuel personal growth by connecting with the perfect instructor in areas ranging from music, dance and acting to foreign languages, math and photography, professional skills and athletics. Serving K-12 with offerings for lifelong learners of all ages, the platform allows students and teachers to schedule lessons, manage accounts and invoices, as well as process payments across desktop and mobile devices.