Do you struggle with reaching all your students’ levels? Maybe you know exactly what to do, but you feel overwhelmed with all you have to do to meet all the diverse needs of your students.
I completely get that. And that is a pretty big understatement.
Six years ago I taught fourth grade at a school with plenty diverse learners. Because the administrator knew how much I enjoy working with diverse learners, I was gifted with a lot of them. Of my 21 students, 18 had either a behavior plan, ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s, or autism.
It was a very unique class.
I was happy for the challenge, but honestly, after the first few months, I realized I didn’t have what it took to reach all my learners. The best I could do was to remain present as much as possible. I enjoyed them all but I just didn’t have the time or the skills to take care of them AND myself. I struggled and felt overwhelmed. Just trying hard every day took everything I had. I wasn’t getting the job done and I wasn’t happy.
Discouraged, I left the classroom to move into coaching after that year.
As a coach and TAP/NIET (National Institute for Excellence in Teaching) Master Teacher, I spent thousands of hours after that in teachers’ classrooms learning, field testing, and researching how to meet all the diverse needs of students. The goal: 100% mastery. Every student. Every skill.
And after funding ended for the Master Teacher position, I worked as Gifted and Talented Coach learning how to reach those advanced kiddos.
I didn’t know it at the time but those years prepared me for this year. At the beginning of the year as I reviewed the Curriculum Records and IEPs for my classroom, I realized that I have a similar class to that fourth grade one so long ago, the one that took me into the pit.
After the first few weeks of school, I discovered I had probably 6 different grade levels in math, and all the way from 1st grade struggle to 10th grade skill in reading.
I struggled. But then I discovered I had the tools I needed all along. I had spent three years outside the classroom, learning and applying, and now it was time to put the pedal to the metal.
After weeks of trial and error, my confidence has increased. And so has my joy in the classroom. I know how to reach all my diverse learners in reading and math. They’re growing so much! My teacher heart is so happy to hear all the “Oh, now I get it!” over and over and over. And over all the levels, not just the middle and not just the advanced.
That’s why I created a tool to help teachers like you meet all their diverse learners’ needs. So over the next three weeks, you’ll read about all the different needs of teachers when it comes to differentiation. And how to get yourself where you need to be!
You’ll also be invited to take the Differentiation Diagnostic—a free, online tool to give you specialized mini-training, exactly what you need to meet your diverse learners.
How would you feel if you had the knowledge and the tools to reach all your diverse learners in math or reading? Joy. Confidence. Happiness. Peace. Let’s get you there!