A Challenge Worth Tackling
No one claims that differentiating instruction is easy. “There’s no question that it’s a big challenge,” Weaver says, “but there’s no bigger challenge than trying to insert kids in a one-size-fits-all classroom and then having to deal with the spillover of emotional and behavioral reactions. If kids are not in a place where they can learn, they let us know loud and clear.”
Teachers are inspired to persevere with differentiated instruction when they see the results. Students are more engaged and make more rapid progress. Bright students are no longer bored, and struggling students are finding learning more accessible-and hence their confidence and sense of accomplishment is rising.
As one veteran teacher who initially put up enormous resistance said, “This differentiation is exhausting, at times frustrating, and extremely time-consuming-but I would never go back to the old way.”