When I was in the classroom, every time I treated all of my students as if they were the same, I was inevitably disappointed.
- Everyone did the same project – some did well, but most turned in work that wasn’t really up to their potential.
- Everyone took the same test – some did well, some did OK, and some did not at all OK.
- Everyone took the same notes on the same stuff the same way – some students remembered, others didn’t.
- Everyone did the same set of problems – some aced them because they already knew how to do it, others didn’t get a single one right.
I was constantly disappointed that not everyone understood, that not everyone reached mastery…that not everyone succeeded. I was one of “those teachers” that believed all students could learn; I just had to set up the right conditions for them to learn.
And that meant different students get different opportunities, different activities, different assessments, and different stuff. Students don’t all learn at the same rate or the same way, but they all still can learn. It’s when I started seeing my students as individual learners that I was constantly amazed by what they could do rather than disappointed.
Student don’t come in size “standard.” We have to stop treating them as if they do.