Focusing on who students are as individuals—instead of on learning differences or other descriptors—starts with empathy.
As educators strive to be inclusive of all children, one way to begin is to actively use person-first language, a form of linguistic etiquette in which we describe a trait or diagnosis as something a person has rather than as who they are—e.g., “a person with diabetes,” not “a diabetic.” This is a way to honour and welcome students with different abilities. Indeed, how we discuss and describe our students profoundly impacts their sense of inclusion in the classroom.
Youthful misbehaviour and teachable moments
What parent wants their child to fail? Well, when it comes to the use of technology, failure might just be the best option.
In fact, failing early and often provides fertile ground to educate kids around responsible use. The question is how best to handle online transgressions -- and when or if to involve the school?
In one county in California, alternative education and special education students are starting to return to school with new heightened health protocols.
A fold-out table now blocks the entrance to Marin County’s Community School, where a staff member in a face mask stands, poised with an infrared thermometer and a container of Clorox wipes. As students arrive, she scans each child’s forehead to make sure their temperature reads no higher than 100.4, then asks four questions about their health.
“Do you or anyone you live with have close contact with anyone with a prolonged cough, fever, flu-like symptoms, or with anyone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 within the last 14 days?” she begins. Once the health and safety i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, the student enters the building and heads to class.
An inside look at a teacher-designed instructional model that combines blended learning, student self-pacing, and mastery-based grading.
Chaos is one of the most amazing and challenging aspects of the teaching profession. No matter how hard you plan, your students walk into your classroom every day with different backgrounds, skills, and states of mind, and you have to roll with that.
For most educators across the country, nothing is more challenging than effectively differentiating for all learners—it’s a cardinal principle of effective instruction that is extremely difficult to execute well. When we use traditional lectures with a fixed pacing guide, meeting the unique needs of all students can feel like an unconquerable task.
Digital portals like Google Classroom and Moodle can benefit students who struggle with organization and executive function.
Students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder often have difficulty keeping their things organized. Have you ever looked inside the backpack or desk of a student with ADHD? It may have looked like a hurricane had torn right through it.
That doesn’t happen because such students are lazy or careless—students with attention challenges are typically not geared for this type of organization, and many of them also have concurrent learning and developmental disabilities like dyslexia, spectrum disorders, fine motor delays, or sensory integration issues that may add to the struggle.