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Inclusive Teaching Guide: In the Classroom

Effective teaching is a dynamic, not static, process. Whether you have years of experience or are just beginning to teach, there is always room to expand your repertoire, explore a new approach, or reflect on an aspect of your practice.

Tips and Strategies

Before Class

  • Schedule ample set-up time prior to your class. Test your technology, arrange the room, and give yourself time to transition from whatever you were doing before teaching.
  • Greet students as they come into the classroom. Consider playing music or a video as students come in, or have a question on the whiteboard they can respond to.
  • Check in with the faculty, confirm what time the class is normally dismissed and if the faculty needs any time for announcements.

During Class

  • Avoid using too much jargon or "library-speak".
  • Keep in mind your vocal pacing and projection.
  • Try not to stand in the same place the whole time; move around the room when possible.

After Class

  • Make sure students know how to get in touch with you and other ways that they can get help.
  • Follow up with the faculty after the session.
  • Take a moment to reflect on the session. What went well? What could be improved for next time?

Consider inviting someone to observe you while teaching. This can be a great learning experience, as peer observers can offer valuable feedback on your practice. Feel free to contact IRS if you would like to schedule an observation. 

Accessibility and Accommodations

Keep these tips and strategies in mind to ensure that all students can fully participate in the class.

  • Use visual aids, such as images, diagrams, projections, or demonstrations.
  • Describe visuals, including images, diagrams, and poll results.
  • Give both written and verbal instructions and explanations.
  • Provide a handout or online guide that summarizes the content presented and includes directions to repeat the skills/steps that were demonstrated.
  • Use video captioning and/or provide transcripts of videos
  • Plan active learning components.
  • Give the option to work in groups or individually.
  • Take pauses for processing and questions and repeat key concepts several times.
  • Include both conceptual and concrete information. Connect abstract ideas with real-world examples.

Check out Tulane University's Accessible Syllabus for further information and resources on classroom accessibility.