We help students succeed by personalizing instruction to meet the needs of the learner. This may seem like a daunting task because it takes front-loading at the beginning of the year and ongoing progress-monitoring. Teachers can design activities and assessments that focus on personal interests, strengths, and academic standards. When teachers personalize instruction through various assessments, it is easy to find the "tools" that motivate students to be successful in the classroom.
Resilience in education is best developed in the early grades when students' interests are keen and easiest to develop. This is often the time when a teacher can best motivate a child to believe she can do anything if she tries and puts forth her best efforts. Resilience is the ongoing process of building a child's motivation and drive to excel when met with difficult or challenging circumstances. It is that intrinsic force which guides a child's thinking and produces a "can do" attitude.
We have come to a pivotal point in education. The effects of early learning have consistently shown that children who do not have a strong start will continue to lag behind and encounter major barriers in the latter grades. Data from early grades have been powerful predictors of achievement and outcomes. Therefore, strong foundational skills in reading, math, and writing are fundamental for successes in high school, college, and in the workplace.
The landscape of American education has changed. Since 2011, more minority children than white, non-Hispanic children are being born in U.S. households. As a result of this growing trend, we must look at the disparities within the education system that have implications for schools across the country. Once thriving communities are seeing population shifts, with students coming from inner-city, urban areas as well as students from impoverished backgrounds.
Across the United States, teachers can quickly tell you who is the most at-risk student sitting in their classrooms. The answer is the same, whether it's from a teacher in Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans, Detroit, Newark, or Birmingham. It's the student who struggled in 3rd grade. It's the student behind his peers in 8th grade reading levels. It's the student who spends the majority of his time in detention or in-school suspension. It's the student who has problems focusing in class, thus becoming disruptive. It's the student who stays on his teacher's mind each and every day of the school year. He is the one a teacher never forgets years later—always wondering where he is now, how he is doing, is he still alive. Who is this student? He's the African American male.