Analysis Of Teaching, Giftedness, And Differentiation: A Reflection

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Assimilation seems to be a word that most educators should avoid at all costs. The way that assimilation has been interpreted in education to date has caused problems in English language learning, special education, and education as a whole. I will stress again what I noted in my last reading response; teachers need to keep in mind how to teach, what to teach, and to whom we are teaching at all times. The article “Teaching, Giftedness, and Differentiation: A Reflection,” is about one teacher’s journey (and resistance) toward recognizing the need to consider in-depth the who, what, and how of her classroom. Every student that we come across as educators is different, and it is our job, as the educator in the room, to determine what each …show more content…
Labeled or not, no one’s journey in life is the same; the sooner that educators recognize that this is true of students, the better. There is nothing more boring than a teacher who consistently approaches his or her classroom as the “sage on the stage,” but this is usually the first approach of new teachers (pg. 70). Students, especially adolescents, do not think that teachers are perfect. When a teacher presents him or herself as “all-knowing” students, especially adolescents, may feel challenged to prove them wrong. Teachers can never get to know their students enough to differentiate their instruction well if they do not trust their student enough to present their own true selves to them, flaws and all. As Lopez Kershen, evolved her classroom to student-centric and saw “difference as an opportunity,” not only did her students thrive, but she became a better teacher (pg. 70). She did not become a better teacher because she had better subject matter, but because of how she chose to involve her student in leading their own learning. Her philosophy became “centered on students’ strengths and interests-- coupled to a vision of education as a public good for building a just society” (pg. …show more content…
71). We need to remember what a huge responsibility that this is and remember that students are not the labels that they are given. We need to “make space to hear student voices” and “teach to their strengths” (p. 72). This is a commitment that we must make to our students unequivocally . As a paraprofessional, I would challenge my students to attempt new things, to try to think with more depth, consider things from their own perspective. I would adapt assessments based on the documented requirements of students, but I would also leave a short answer question to challenge them to consider more (for bonu points, not deductions). I am committed to doing my best to have a classroom in which students feel heard and their opinions and ideas validated. By making my students part of the process and our class a community, a trust will hopefully be fostered, and my students will feel safe to “find their academic voices” (pg. 71). My job as an educator is to prepare all my students for success, in whatever form that is for them, in the outside world by celebrating their differences and opening the door to their own journey while allowing them to map their route (pg. 71). So let’s throw out the word assimilate when it comes to the education of our youth, and instead embrace and celebrate the differences that make our students who they are and who they will

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