Wednesday, September 17, 2014

And the Super Power Is...

Day 16: If you could have one superpower to use in the classroom, what would it be and how would it help?



As I think think about the question: "What superpower would I like?" I find myself reflecting a lot on
Photo: flickr.com
the need to effectively differentiate in order to allow every student access to the material.  I have really come to see that more as I have been in Administration looking at the bigger picture, not just my classroom.  So I would like my super power to be the ability to consistently differentiate for each and every student with every lesson.  You know how there are times when you walk in and think "I totally have this!" and then it falls flat?  Or you are really good at differentiating for some learners, but not all?  Being able to completely overcome those challenges would allow such a dynamic learning environment.  My hope is that everyone would feel that they could achieve in my classroom.

Having a child myself who has learning differences, I have become very attuned to how teachers differentiate.  In addition, technology allows us so many options it almost seems criminal not to differentiate.  But I also know that "the best laid plans..." So if I could have the power to know that when I wanted to differentiate I could, and when I needed to come up with good alternatives if my original plan for differentiation wasn't working, I could.  While I learned to work hard at differentiating, I have to admit that there were still many lessons that would revert to more traditional lecture style than inquiry based or student-focused learning.  I'm a history teacher and one thing about us history teachers is that we have our "favorite" topics.  How can I turn those over to students?  What if they don't learn all the super-cool stuff that I can share with them if I just lecture?   That was and is hard to overcome at times.  But if I could fully let go of that sense of ownership and let the students learn in their own unique and sometimes "messy" ways, that would make me feel like a real super hero.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts!