What words would you use to describe the teachers who have had the greatest positive influence on your education? Your explanations should provide a window into the teaching and learning methods you value most. Perhaps words like “passion” and “caring” that convey emotional reactions are important. Possibly, “knowledgeable” and “well-informed” and “understandable” that convey intellectual competence fit the bill. Maybe, “committed” and “inspiring” that convey values are at the top of your list. Oft times the best instructors and mentors display multiple characteristics in their teaching.
In addition to educators’ personal characteristics and teaching styles are teaching methods and strategies that utilize the senses. We all learn by using different sensory modalities; sight, sound, tactile, smell, taste, and social interaction; albeit we are each unique with regard to how well we are able to utilize each of these specific senses. When a course lesson engages only one of these senses, it is completely inaccessible to any student with limited use of that sense. If a lesson engages two senses, it becomes generally accessible. If three, then any lesson becomes fully accessible to any and every student who is likely to walk through your classroom door.