The best teachers are not born, they are made

Consensus on what makes a teacher effective or not is elusive, mainly because student achievement does not necessarily correlate with teachers’ years of classroom experience or the caliber of their preparation. Even particular personality traits, such as an extroverted disposition in the classroom, can be irrelevant if the right strategies are not established. And the reality is that teaching is not a mystical talent, but a set of best practices that can be codified and learned through extensive practical and collaborative training.

We all experience the world in unique ways, and that is why the ways in which we learn best are also varied. Understanding the differences in these types of learning styles can drastically impact the way teachers manage their students. In other words, without understanding the disparity in learning styles, teachers may eventually end up with a handful of students left behind simply because their unique learning style has not been activated. According to Howard Gardner, individuals excel at different things , so defining intelligence as simple literacy or math skills is misunderstanding a learner’s strengths.



4 types of learning styles you can find in a classroom

Learning styles and preferences take a wide variety of forms and not all people fit perfectly into a particular category, as there are many overlaps between styles. With that said, most students align with the following:


  • Visual learners

How to recognize visual learners in class? Someone with a preference for visual learning is inclined to see and observe things , such as pictures, diagrams, written instructions, and more. This is also known as the “spatial” learning style. Students who learn through sight understand information better when it is presented visually. These are generally scribblers, list makers, and / or note-takers.


aprendizaje visual


How do you serve visual learners? The blackboard will be your best friend when teaching visual learners. Teachers should create situations in which to draw pictures and diagrams on the board , make presentations, or ask students to draw examples based on the topic they are learning. Visual learners may also need more time than other students to process the material and observe the visual cues before them. Be sure to give these students a little time and space to work through the information.



  • Auditory learners

How to recognize auditory learners? Auditory learners tend to learn best when the subject is reinforced by sound. These students prefer listening to a lecture rather than reading written notes , and they often use their own voices to reinforce new concepts and ideas. These are students who like to read aloud to themselves, who are not afraid to speak up in class, and who possess extensive skills in verbally explaining things. On the other hand, they can be slower in reading and tend to repeat things.

How to attend hearing learners? Since these students sometimes have a hard time keeping quiet for long periods of time, get your auditory learners involved in a talk or lecture. Ask questions and let them answer and / or create group discussions so that their auditory and verbal processors can properly grasp and understand the information presented to them. Watching videos and using music or audiotapes can also be helpful ways to engage with auditory learners.



  • Kinesthetic learners

How to recognize kinesthetic learners? Kinesthetic learners or “tactile” learners learn by experimenting or doing things. They like to dive right into events or use their hands to touch, handle, and understand concepts. These students may have a hard time sitting still, they may be good at sports, or they like to dance. They may also need to take a break from studying or stand out for not having great handwriting.

How to serve kinesthetic students? The best way to help these students learn is by making them move . Teachers should instruct students to act out a certain scene from a lesson they are teaching or encourage those students to incorporate movement into lessons: rhythm to aid memorization, games that involve moving around the classroom, or writing on the board like part of an activity. Once these students can physically feel what they are studying, abstract ideas and difficult concepts will be easier to understand.


aprendizaje kinestésico



  • Reading-writing students

How to recognize reading-writing students? Reading-writing students prefer to learn through written words . While there is some overlap with visual learning, these types of students express themselves through writing, reading articles, looking up words in the dictionary, or searching the Internet.

How to serve reading-writing students? This is probably the easiest learning style to attend to, as most education systems rely (not always for the better) on writing essays, jotting down notes, researching online, and / or reading books. As a teacher you should allow enough time for these students to absorb the information through the written word, and give them the opportunity to also write their words on paper.


But understanding different learning styles doesn’t end in the classroom. By equipping students with tools in their early years, teachers are also equipping them for their future, meaning that the strategies implemented can also be lifelong learning.

Failure to identify how a child learns best can dramatically affect his ability to connect with topics, as well as the way in which he engages with the rest of the class and his environment. That is why the best teachers are not born, but are made based on experimentation , effort, and passion for the work they do and that shapes, nothing more and nothing less, than the society of today and tomorrow. .


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