November 9 – all sorts of students in my classes

108/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. As always in these gratitude posts, I’m being straight forward and honest and this one is tough for the teacher in me to admit. I pride myself in being open minded and open to new experiences but I have always been nervous and wary of students who are not of the “norm” educationally: Students who have Individualized Education Plans. Students who are from Alternate Programs. Students with Differing Abilities – whether physical, emotional or learning related. Students with Adaptations and Modifications to their Educational Programs. For most of my career, I have taught in the elective areas where the majority of students were regular academic achievers; however, with cutbacks and increased classroom sizes and all sorts of changes to the educational realm that I was used to, things are much different in my classroom today. Students of all sorts of abilities are now in all classes and I wasn’t sure how I would meet their needs while still providing the learning that I wanted to give the rest of the class. I anticipated all sorts of problems and made first impression judgement calls but was cognizant of this and immediately caught myself. I became aware that I had to change my mindset around learning, students and the classroom and adapt to the varied learning styles of the various learners which included the aforementioned learners. I am very thankful that this happened in my teaching career and that I have such diversity in my classes as I have learned a great deal about myself due to my interaction with students of differing abilities (not just the mainstream kids) and I feel privileged to work with and make a difference for all the students I come in contact with. Thank you to all my students (regardless of abilities) for keeping me on top of my toes when it comes to teaching and not become complacent – the learning goes both ways. In your honour, I revise my lessons to better fit your needs.

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