I have always loved learning new things about my environment, the people around me and how we, as a collective community can work together to achieve goals. We are all students when we embrace learning from one another. As educators, parents, neighbours- whatever our role is, we intentionally want to find out how a person learns to be their best. These are 2 questions I find helpful: 1) WHAT motivates each person? 2) HOW does a person best absorb information? These answers are both individualized and therefore require care and thoughtfulness to help achieve goals! We are all motivated by different things, we may love science documentaries, sports, certain foods, trees, elevators or a television program! (and we can’t forget the invincible IPAD) Regardless of what that may be to each person, our encouragement will always be right beside it cheering him or her on, no matter how old they are. We all learn differently. Some of our students are auditory learners, some visual and some kinesthetic. As an auditory learner, we focus on the words presented that we hear. Many are visual learners and highly benefit from visual aids. Visuals to remind us about classroom expectations, an explanation of a teaching lesson or how to play a game outside with peers at school. If verbal language acts as a barrier to communication, visuals are extremely helpful and calming to students to help clarify teaching methods. We also see kinesthetic learners. Learners who need something tactile (something physical) in their hands to understand the concept. They may feel compelled to act it out, build it or need to physically do it before it becomes a concrete concept for them. All of these are exceptional and creative ways to learn! Combining multiple learning strengths (auditory, visual and kinesthetic) into teaching methods not only helps the learner draw from their strengths but also allows them to practice other areas to learn from as well. Combining this with each student’s individual motivation can help to establish a successful teaching and learning environment! When we ask the right questions and are intentional in finding our answers, it helps us ALL learn better- together. Written by: Ashley Goldsmith     

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