A technology teacher at one of our workshops raised an ongoing issue he was having with students who don’t bring appropriate clothing to his subject. This is a safety concern as well as a behaviour issue - students cannot participate in the lesson without correct footwear. This makes extra work for the teacher, taking him away from the rest of the class while he finds work for these students and manages their behaviour.
Have you ever taught a student who made you dread going to class? The student who won't engage no matter what you do? Who made you wait expectantly for the bell at the end of the lesson even more eagerly than the students? I know I have! A student who won't engage with the learning, who refuses to follow directions, who disrupts the class and with whom you feel you cannot connect can really undermine your confidence. Don’t despair. There are ways to relieve your stress levels and improve the situation.
We know that a student displaying constantly inappropriate behaviour and not effectively accessing the learning is a cause for concern. When the student doesn’t respond to your whole class expectations, reinforcements and consequences you may decide to work with them to develop an individual behaviour contract. Depending on the severity of the problem, parental support can also be enlisted to implement the plan.
As educators we all recognise that differentiation in the classroom is vital as students are individuals who learn at different rates and in different ways. However, planning, programming and assessing for the wide variety of needs and interests of multi-age and multi-ability classes can be quite a challenge! Here are 14 ways you can use differentiation in the classroom.