Thursday, July 15, 2010

Teaching all students does not mean teaching differently

You cannot, and should not, change successful teaching. Teacher education classes are teaching new teachers that they need to accommodate any and all differences in your students' makeup.

The problem with changing your style, is that you cannot change to accommodate every student. If you do, you will indeed succeed at doing nothing except chaos. You, as the teacher, need to devise lesson plans to reach all students at the same time. We underestimate our students quite a bit. Your students are adaptable. Your students can learn. Your students can also see right through you. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Real life is not about accommodations. Real life is learning to adapt, follow rules, and get ahead in spite of obstacles. The only guideline I would give is to make your lesson plans grade, subject, and age appropriate.

Every teacher early on in the school year, needs to get to know their students. Your classroom is your classroom. It is not your college professor's classroom. It is not the teacher next door's classroom. You and you alone should be the sole judge as to what works and doesn't work in your classroom. You have a set curriculum. Teach it in a way that is comfortable for you and your students. Somehow politics has mixed up what a teacher is supposed to do. Yes. There are rare, and I mean rare, instances when specific things for specific students need to be addressed. The bottom line again, for teachers, is that good teaching is good teaching, no matter what kinds of students you have.

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