NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Teaching Every Student: Are you up to the challenge?

Posted on Apr, 24 2014

Article from the 2014 Summer Professional Development Catalog 

Once, while teaching middle school students, there was a boy in my class who was restless and not concentrating on my teaching or directions. In response, I made a comment that kind of scolded his hyperactive behavior and inattention. After taking an e-learning course on Understanding Special Populations, I realize that I had the wrong approach. I could have had him collect papers and provided some other breaks so that he could move his body a little bit. I now understand that his behavior was not unwillingness but rather a little deficit in his neuro-development!

(Teacher after taking a PD course)

When we look at the way special education has evolved in this country, we realize that it’s more than just an issue special educators need to be concerned about. There are students with learning disabilities, giftedness, autism and attention-deficit in every classroom and every school. Are you equipped to teach them all?

Professional Development is one way teachers can learn and empower themselves to grow. Not keeping up on changing demands in education today can be detrimental to both our teaching career as well as to students. When we are able to teach every student in our classroom, we discover new heights that students can reach.

So how much Professional Development is required? It’s much more than the number of hours a state department of education requires. Take charge of your continuing education so that it is not just reading and discussing with other educators. While these activities are important, it is also critical to engage in structured learning experiences that enable you to review, reflect and reconsider as a teacher.  Are you up to the challenge?

By Ellen Paxton, Instructor of Understanding Special Learning Populations, Reaching Diverse Learners, and Cognitive Skill: Understanding Learning Challenges 

Join the discussion online at the NDSU Teacher Engagement Network