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How to Teach in Alternative Schools

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    • 1). Develop a curriculum that enables students to absorb class subject material at their own pace, using a variety of learning styles. Encourage students to learn by working together in groups and teaching one another. Offer them opportunities to pursue whatever aspect of the subject matter interests and motivates them the most. Ask for results that demonstrate that they are learning and growing, but allow for considerable flexibility regarding the types of results you will accept. For example, if you are teaching math, offer your students the option of working on anything from straightforward equations to a focus on the role of mathematical relationships in music.

    • 2). Create an interdisciplinary learning environment that enables students to approach a subject from multiple angles. For example, teach geography by familiarizing your students with the mathematical idea of latitude and longitude, as well as the languages and cultures of the regions that you are studying.

    • 3). Develop teams with your coworkers, enabling you to complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. Teach in teams, providing instruction and guidance to students whose learning styles mesh most comfortably with those of particular teachers. Cover for one another to allow each instructor the opportunity to spend extra time with students who need additional attention.

    • 4). Engage the help and support of your students' parents and families. Encourage parents to come work in the classroom and accompany the class on trips. Hold parent teacher conferences often, even expressing a willingness to visit your students at home. Solicit input from the parents of your students, asking about their concerns, interests and what they would most like their children to learn.

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