There are many teaching terms that you will inevitably have to learn as you enter a professional education career. It is important to get a feel for the teaching lingo whether you are a prospective educator or a parent who will be interacting with teachers. The following are the 25 most important terms every teaching student should know:
1. Alternative Assessment: Requires performing a task rather than multiple or fill-in-the-blank.
2. Assessment: Studying or judging what the child knows and does not know.
3. Authentic Assessment: Requires performing a task to demonstrate knowledge or competence.
4. Balanced Reading: Combining intense phonics and whole language instruction.
5. Collaborative Education: Students cooperate on group projects for a common grade.
6. Direct Instruction: Intensive small group instruction using a set of prescriptive materials.
7. Enrichment: Often provided for gifted students.
8. Fine Motor Skills: Require using smallest muscles for very slight controlled movements.
9. Gross Motor Skills: Require using largest muscles for grand motions like walking or running.
10. High Stakes Tests: Testing students at specific grade levels to see if they're meeting standards.
11. IQ: A measure of an individual's ability to learn.
12. Inference: To draw a conclusion from the information presented.
13. Learning Styles: Everyone has different learning styles, including tactile, auditory and visual.
14. Mainstreaming: Special needs kids join the rest of the students for lunch, assemblies and some classes.
15. Norm-Referenced Tests: Produce scores to compare children at similar ages and grade levels.
16. Open-ended Activities: Where there is no correct answer, or many ways to find the answer.
17. Phonics: Learning to read by sounding out words.
18. Portfolio Assessment: Assessing a collection of activities or projects over a period of time.
19. Professional Development: Classes, seminars or workshops towards teacher recertification.
20. Remediation: Re-teaching skills that the child did not master during regular classroom instruction.
21. Rubric: Instrument used to grade alternative or performance assessments.
22. Special Education: Classes for giftedness, speech, language, deaf education and various disabilities.
23. Standardized Tests: Tests given across a district, state or nation.
24. Visual Discrimination: Ability of the eye to see letter differences.
25. Whole Language: Immersion in the printed word to help children interpret the printed word like they do the spoken word.
It is clear that knowledge of the common teaching terms discussed here can only serve to better help future teachers. Teaching lingo is used frequently in the classroom setting, whether you are a student trying to become a teacher, or already leading a class of your own.