I Am “Not All”: Slice of Life 3/24

I.

I am suspect of programs, of best practices, of anything that smacks of one-size-fits-all.  I cringe when we’re told to “do” guided reading with all of our students. Or use tickets as a way to control all of our students. Or use the same assessment for all of our students. There simply is no 1 way of doing things for all of our students. Because…Each. Human. Is. Unique. Understand that, buy into that, embrace that and you’ll understand why I am always suspicious of anything that purports to be for all of our students.

II.

I am a big believer in staying on top of the latest research. Whoa…wait a minute. Isn’t that contrary to what I just said? The fact is, I am a huge reader of educational research. I read everything I can from Hattie and DuFour and Kylene Beers.  But I don’t consume it and then try to retro-fit all of my students into it. (Square peg, round hole comes to mind.) Instead, I place it in my well-honed tool belt where it sits waiting, ready for duty should a particular learner need it.

III.

And that, is personalized learning. Not a program but a deep understanding of and deep respect for the inherent differences in each learner…much like a snowflake. If you believe that…really believe that…then you cannot, nor should not have a classroom that moves in one direction at all times. Well, you might ask, isn’t that Messy? Yes. Frustrating? Sometimes. Exhausting? My bones, brain and muscles confirm it. Worth it? Just come to our learning space and judge for yourself.

IV.

Should you come visit our learning space, would you ever see our learners all moving in the same direction? Sure. We’re a work in progress. You don’t undo 100 years overnight.

 

3 Replies to “I Am “Not All”: Slice of Life 3/24”

  1. Your post certainly talks of the pressure to use one way dictated from above to teach all children. There is no one way to reach everyone and those teachers who are flexible thinkers and critical learners are best prepared to reach everyone….using multiple means!

  2. We are all learning at our own pace, in our own time, in our own ways. We also practice our craft in many ways as well. Perhaps we can use frameworks and assessments to give us similar language to speak and then recognize the needs of our learners and guide them and our teachers on their best path.

  3. Sounds like to don’t allow programs to get in the way. Good for you. Also sounds like to know your students very well.

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