Friday, October 10, 2014

Teaching Tips: Differentiation

Happy Friday, friends!

So, today we have a school provided PD in-service all about differentiation. More specifically it was geared toward our Christian classrooms to answer the WHY (or the need) for differentiating from a Biblical standpoint.... it. was. phenomenal!

I have studied "differentiation" already, and it seems to be one of those "buzz words," but honestly and truly it is how God designed us to learn from the moment He created us, and it is the BEST way for us to learn.

I just had to share my excitement with everyone, and say what a great day it was. I took away SO MANY IDEAS (my wheels are always spinning, and usually at hyper-speed) and it reaffirmed a lot the what and the how of my current teaching which I think is always important. We can constantly feel the need to try to "keep up with the Jones'" but we need to remind and encourage each other that that is first, unnecessary, and second, impossible. But what we are doing IS working, it IS "correct" (if you so need to name it that way) and it IS good enough. That was a big realization for me.

God also put this thought into my head. It starts with this small anecdote:
       At our Back to School Open House & Dedication this year my administrator told us about land our school recently purchased so that we can build a new building (we are running out of space!) A local church owned 40 acres and knew that they would never utilize all of that acreage. So, when they heard we were looking for a place to build a building they called our administrator and said they would sell us 10 acres... for $1! They knew that they could not stand before God and answer "I gave you 40 acres, and you did well with the first 10 acres, but what did you do with the rest."

I told that anecdote to tell you this: If you stand before God one day and He says, "You did well, my good and faithful servant. You did well teaching those 1000 students I put before you, but what about Johnny, Sally, and Michael? What did you do for them?"

When He hit me with that, I felt convicted. We have ALL had that student (or students) who challenge us in someway. They need our love and they need our help. They were placed in our classroom for a reason and we need to do EVERYTHING we can to reach and love them all. We may just be all they have.