Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Differentiation in Small Bites: Mindset


   This seems to be the catch word of the day.  We all have a particular mindset towards how we believe instruction should look, feel, and be implemented.  It is important, in my humble opinion, that to start off this series, you should be well aware of what I believe is the foundation of differentiation.  Your mindset. You mindset towards teaching a classroom full of children who come from variety of backgrounds, interests, abilities, and strengths. 
    If you believe, all students deserve to grow each year they are in school. (This means the students beyond grade level keep moving up the educational ladder, as well as, the on level and struggling students.) If you hold fast to the thought, every child is unique and can fully participate through their strengths in your classroom. Plus, if you desire to do the work it takes to make that happen, you and I have the same mindset.
    You may not agree with all those statements or you may believe it to pie in the sky thinking.  You can still differentiate without the same mindset as mine.  I encourage you to take time to reflect on what your mindset truly is and how it shapes your instruction.  Those just exiting the teacher preparation stage of life, you have been doing this all along.  Those who, like me have been in this career for multiple decades, we sometimes need to be reminded to revisit reflective practice.
    Basically, in a nutshell, I whole heartedly believe to make differentiation work you must cling to the premise that each and every child deserves the best teaching I can provide for them.
     Give me your thoughts and feedback. Best practice includes conversation, which strengthens and extends our views and practice.
Next bites: management....one loaded word!!!