Differing Student Audience

Students who are beginning to enter adolescence are going through a myriad of changes and social stressors that impact student learning, which therefore impacts an educator’s teaching. Students will be going through different changes from ages 12-18, and each student is on their own personal schedule, which means the teacher is constantly making adjustments for each student, instead of for the class as a whole. Students will begin to undergo sexual maturation, which can lead to behavior changes in the classroom. These changes could include fatigue and sleeping, acting out, bad grades, or other actions to try and impress others. Teachers must also make adjustments for different types of students. Classrooms are not made up of the same students. Classrooms are made up of gifted students, at-risk students, English language learners, and students who love to learn. What the variety of students in the classroom means for the teacher is that they must be versatile. Our lesson plans and our own interactions with the students must be able to accommodate every student, regardless of social status or anything going on in their lives. Like Zevin, I too would argue that “social studies is an especially inviting field for both teacher and student role-playing” (Zevin 54). This means that social studies has the potential to have role-playing style lessons and lectures that can drastically increase student learning and engagement, as well as bring joy and curiosity to the students. Students will also share different views on history that can complicate the classroom. Some students may view history as a chronological timeline with events and facts that are set in stone. Students do not realize that historical thinking deals with interpretation and evidence, and that it can change when new revelations come into play. Students could also be conditioned to a certain teaching style, and become discouraged or reluctant to learn differently under a new teacher. For example, if a student spent the majority of their history education listening to lectures and taking multiple choice exams, a teacher who is all about group work and student-centered learning may throw the students off. My biggest takeaway from this is that teachers must be versatile, and must be able to teach all students effectively.