Many factors can affect teaching and learning

This step allows you to provide a picture of your class that will enable the reader to better understand your instruction and decision-making skills.

Many factors can affect teaching and learning; these could include the community, the school district, and/or individual school/classroom/student factors.

The information you gather about your teaching and learning context and about individual students will help provide perspective to the reader who will be scoring your submission.

This part of your submission will not be scored, but the information you include should have implications regarding your professional choices.

Your response must be limited to 1,500 characters (approximately one-half page typed). No artifacts can be attached to the Contextual Information textbox.

  1. Describe your classroom. Include the grade level, content area, subject matter, and number of students. Provide relevant information about any of your students with special needs.
  2. Describe any physical, social, behavioral, or developmental factors that may impact the instruction that occurs in your classroom. Mention any linguistic, cultural, or health considerations that may also impact teaching and learning in your classroom.
  3. Describe any factors related to the school and surrounding community that may impact the teaching and learning that occurs in your classroom.

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Physical factors

  • Classroom size and layout: A small, cramped classroom can be difficult for students to move around in and can make it difficult for the teacher to manage the class. A large, well-lit classroom with plenty of space for students to move around is more conducive to learning.
  • Classroom furniture: Desks and chairs should be the right size for students and should be arranged in a way that promotes communication and collaboration.

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  • Temperature and noise levels: A classroom that is too hot or too cold, or that is too noisy, can be distracting for students and can make it difficult for them to learn.
  • Lighting: Good lighting is important for students’ vision and can also help to create a positive and productive learning environment.
  • Access to technology: Students need access to technology to be able to participate in many classroom activities. This includes access to computers, tablets, and the internet.

Social factors

  • Student relationships: Students who have positive relationships with their classmates and teachers are more likely to be engaged in learning. A classroom where students feel safe and respected is essential for learning to occur.
  • Classroom climate: The classroom climate refers to the overall atmosphere of the classroom. A positive classroom climate is one where students feel comfortable participating in class discussions and activities. It is also a classroom where students feel respected and supported by their teacher and classmates.
  • Socioeconomic status: Students from low-income families may face additional challenges in school. They may not have access to the same resources as students from higher-income families, and they may be more likely to experience stress and anxiety outside of school.
  • Home life: Students who come from supportive and stable home environments are more likely to succeed in school. Students who come from chaotic or unstable home environments may face additional challenges in school.

Behavioral factors

  • Student attention spans: Students have different attention spans, and some students may have difficulty paying attention for long periods of time. Teachers need to use a variety of teaching methods and activities to keep students engaged.
  • Student motivation: Students need to be motivated to learn in order to succeed. Teachers can motivate students by making learning relevant to their interests, providing positive feedback, and creating a challenging but supportive learning environment.
  • Student behavior: Students need to behave appropriately in order to create a positive learning environment for everyone. Teachers need to have clear expectations for student behavior and need to be consistent in enforcing those expectations.

Developmental factors

  • Cognitive development: Students’ cognitive development affects their ability to learn. For example, young students may have difficulty with abstract concepts. Teachers need to be aware of the different stages of cognitive development and need to tailor their instruction accordingly.
  • Social-emotional development: Students’ social-emotional development also affects their ability to learn. Students who are struggling with social-emotional issues, such as anxiety or depression, may have difficulty paying attention in class and may not be able to perform to their full potential. Teachers need to be aware of the signs of social-emotional problems and need to be able to provide support to students who are struggling.

Linguistic factors

  • English language learners (ELLs): ELLs may struggle to learn in a classroom where the instruction is primarily in English. Teachers need to provide ELLs with support, such as sheltered instruction and access to bilingual resources.
  • Students with language disabilities: Students with language disabilities may also struggle to learn in a traditional classroom setting. Teachers need to provide these students with accommodations and modifications, such as extra time on tests and access to assistive technology.

Cultural factors

  • Cultural differences: Students from different cultures may have different learning styles and expectations. Teachers need to be aware of these differences and need to adapt their instruction accordingly.
  • Bias: Teachers may unconsciously bring their own biases into the classroom. This can lead to them treating students from different cultural groups differently. Teachers need to be aware of their own biases and need to work to overcome them.

Health considerations

  • Students with chronic health conditions: Students with chronic health conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, may need to take breaks during class or may need to make other accommodations. Teachers need to be aware of these students’ health needs and need to be flexible in their instruction.
  • Students with mental health conditions: Students with mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, may also need accommodations. Teachers need to be aware of the signs of mental health problems and need to be able to provide support to students who are struggling.

By being aware of these factors, teachers can create a classroom environment that is conducive to learning for all students.


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