If You Want to Learn Something — Teach it!

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That’s good advice. Giving your students opportunities to “teach” each other allows them to exercise many skills and build their abilities as leaders and persuasive speakers. Whether working in pairs or reporting to the whole class, writing an essay or short story, or debating a point, give students opportunities to engage with content and feed it back.

One final point: HOW your students may solve problems or interpret your directions and assignments can be a surprise – usually pleasant, but sometimes not. You may have a clear idea of how you expect they will answer questions, perform in role plays, etc. But they may have “filters” to do with their own background and limited experiences of life. They may come up with very imaginative solutions to problems. Perspectives, attitudes, and degrees of maturity all affect problem-solving in children as well as adults. Remaining open and really listening to the students as they share their interpretations can be the best teaching.

Give them problems to resolve. Let them use their creativity and critical thinking skills to solve problems in their own ways. Getting students to “take ownership” of content and problem-solve independently can provide important insights and lessons for both students and teachers.

One of the pleasures of teaching is seeing your students gain greater confidence through successfully resolving various problems. Help them succeed by giving them the freedom to fail. And teach them to persist!

All the best,



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Steve Hiles

I am a retired military and elementary school teacher living in Tennessee. I am an avid reader and love to write. I am very passionate about helping teachers. I hope you find my educational tips and strategies useful and enjoy hearing about my personal journey. Thanks for visiting!

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