When we look deeply enough into classrooms, we see that all have some diversity—gender, ethnic, racial, language, sexual identity and orientation, (dis)ability, nationality—it’s all there. Diversity is the “spice” of a classroom. But how does a teacher help to bridge culture and language in diverse classroom settings? How can a teacher invite involvement of parents and caregivers? And what happens when a mentor notices that a teacher’s biases get in the way of good instruction? We focus on English Learners in the Real World Case because that’s a growing segment of the student population across the U.S. There’s just so much more to learn about how to best teach English Learners. But the same is true children who need special services for learning disabilities and children who are identified as “gifted.” Of course these labels don’t tell the whole story–a child may have all three labels. Smart teachers (and smart mentors) know that differentiating instruction means attending to the data that provides background about the child, but also attending to each child’s level of participation and performance in the class. This lesson provides guidance for mentors who want to help new teachers differentiate instruction.
After completing this lesson, you will:
- Identify ways to collect and interpret data to show new teachers how to differentiate instruction
- Be familiar with Universal Design for Learning
- Self-evaluate whether/how classroom instruction aligns with Universal Design for Learning
- Be familiar with Response to Intervention
- Self-evaluate whether/how classroom instruction aligns with Response to Intervention