In order for teachers to understand how to practice adaptive teaching techniques, they must first understand the goals and procedures of adaptive teaching. Adaptive teaching seeks to reach out to all students, regardless of their level of learning or their socioeconomic backgrounds. The goal of adaptive teaching is to instruct each student based upon his individual needs.
- Benefits-Every student can benefit from the practice of adaptive teaching. The goal of adaptive teaching is to instruct each student based on his strengths and weaknesses. In order to accomplish this, however, teachers must become familiar with each student's abilities and experiences, as well as his socioeconomic background. Teachers must also recognize that students learn differently, and they need different types of instruction in order to succeed.
- Instruction-In order for the practice of adaptive teaching to really work, teachers must focus their instructional techniques on the needs of each individual student. For example, in some cases, a student will benefit from peer pairing, in which a lower level student is paired or partnered with a higher level student. However, other students may not work well with this type of socialization, and they perform better if they are allowed to work independently with only a teacher's guidance. In some cases, cooperative teams are used, which are comprised of lower and higher level students. In group or cooperative work, each student is assigned a particular job or responsibility so that everyone has an opportunity to do his fair share.
- Setting-The setting of a classroom plays an important role in how well adaptive teaching is actually implemented. A classroom's setting must be conducive to the needs of individual students, with areas set up for individual instruction and research as well as areas designated for those students who will benefit from group work. Materials should be displayed for easy access, and various levels of learning should be addressed with these materials, making it easier for a student to study on his own individual level and at his own rate of learning.
- Management-Classroom management is extremely important. A teacher must become adept at meeting the challenges that adaptive teaching will offer. Because students may be working on different projects at different levels, a teacher must be able to maintain order and routine while at the same time encourage learning at various levels throughout the day. Noise levels can wreak havoc on those learners who need a quieter environment in which to work. Separate areas can be cordoned off to allow for more individual instruction while at the same time allowing the teacher to maintain a close supervision of the entire classroom.
- Support Team-The practice of adaptive teaching must also rely heavily on a support team that is made up of classroom teachers, administrators, parents, and the community as a whole. In some cases, community sponsors may be encouraged to participate. This participation could include monetary contributions to purchase school supplies and extracurricular items, or the participation could actually entail community leaders to come into the classroom and speak to the students, offering guidance and in some cases, individualized instruction in job skills. Parents, teachers, and administrators should meet regularly regarding each individual student's needs as well as his progress.