I have so many ideas as to what I want to share on this site, it was difficult to pinpoint one. But I decided to go with a video on youtube that I have used many times in workshops. It speaks to multiple levels of teaching from classroom management to differentiated learning; from building personal relationships with students, the impact of culture in the classroom, to working with parents. I hope you will take the time to view it now, before you read further. If you have seen it already, please view it again with virgin eyes before you read on.
- Would I be able to accommodate the needs of all these students in my class:
A student who needs to rock with someone who needs to walk; a student who needs to slouch with a student who needs directions given in small doses?
- Could I individualize the lesson enough to support the learning style of each of these students and not deprive my typical students of the environment they need to flourish?
- How much work is involved in orchestrating a lesson that would present different protocol of information delivery so as to maintain the interest of each of these learning styles.?
- What if, with all my planning, a student is not engaging the way I anticipated?
- Is it my job to work with this child individually, if need be, during, before or after class?
- If I need to modify assignments for any of these children, how to I judge if the minimum level of competency has been achieved?
- What do I tell other students who ask why they have to do 10 questions and another student only has to do 5 questions?
- What do I tell parents of other students when they ask the same questions?
- Do the perceptions of the parents affect the performance of the student?
- And many others.
Some of the thoughts listed above were running through my head as I listened to the video. Others are comments that came up during workshops where I showed the video. Specific answers will be addressed in future postings. But, let's speak in general terms for a moment. Sometimes, we teachers 'know' what is the best way to learn. We may feel we know that because of our experiences or because we know that is how we learn best. The students in this video are trying to tell us that there is no 'one way' to learn.
As we journey through these and other questions (which I hope you will post) we will investigate Ross Greene, Michelle Garcia Winner, and develop a better understanding of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). These and other protocols for behavior remediation help to build a lasting relationships with a difficult student population. But more importantly, they provide a vehicle to teach students life long skills and strategies that help them become successful students and change their perspective of themselves as stupid, incapable, or unlikable.
I hope you will stay with me as we explore these and many other areas, including the classic writings of Bandura, Piaget, Labov, and Vygotsky to name some of the better know studies. I am not sure anyone else has combined the three approaches that I find so interconnected. One of the best attributes of education, is that one constantly learns. I hope you will share your thoughts and experiences to contribute to the ongoing development of our knowledge base.
Until next time.