A variety of factors influence the best teaching curriculum. When choosing a teaching curriculum, think about how closely it aligns with what you want to teach. Its teaching methods should be ones that you are comfortable with, and the materials should appear to be interesting and well-designed. Because a curriculum is such an important part of any learning program, it’s crucial to pick one that you and your students will enjoy.
The most crucial aspect of selecting a teaching curriculum is ensuring that it is compatible with the content you intend to teach. Each state has its own content standards and expects students to learn certain concepts. It is critical to select a teaching curriculum that meets the content standards for your state, whether you are teaching a classroom or homeschooling one child. Fortunately, curriculum development companies are aware of this and can tell you if their curriculum complies with state requirements. Different versions of textbooks and lesson plans are available for different states from many of the larger curriculum publishers.
Finding a teaching curriculum that you are comfortable with is the next step in the process. Some curricula place a strong emphasis on a single teaching method, such as teaching reading using phonics. Others take a holistic approach. While both methods are effective for teaching reading, the one that the teacher is most at ease with is the best option. Other curriculum differences may not be as obvious. Worksheets may be used heavily some, while written assignments are used others. Again, one method is not necessarily superior to the other, but it must be one with which the teacher is comfortable.
Finally, think about how engaging the teaching materials are. Bright colors and interesting pictures can make learning more interesting for younger children and help keep their attention. Older children, especially in subjects like science and history, enjoy textbooks with sidebars that include related interesting tidbits. Although the student does not have a say in the curriculum, a caring teacher will seek out books and study materials that will pique the child’s interest.
Many curriculum publishers will send you a sample of their curriculum so you can check it out for yourself. Take your time reading the content, looking over the suggested assignments, and comparing the testing materials to your state’s annual standardized testing. Because each publisher builds on his or her content from year to year, it makes sense to invest time in selecting a teaching curriculum at the outset. You will not have to review curriculum year after year if you make a decision you are happy with once.