gifted education teacher, I am tasked with providing qualitatively differentiated
educational experiences that address the individual talents, needs, and
learning styles of my students. In order to effectively accomplish this goal, I
employ a wide variety of measures to improve student achievement.
The learning environment in my
classroom plays a vital role in student achievement. Being knowledgeable about
my students’ learning styles and interests enables me to create a safe and
supportive atmosphere in which they are comfortable taking risks, making mental
leaps, and expressing their thinking without fear of failure or judgement. Each
day, my class begins with an affective needs activity desgned to enable
students to better understand their strengths and weaknesses, as well as develop
coping strategies so that they can achieve to their full potential.
The physical enviroment of my
classroom contains a variety of flexible work spaces and a wide range of
learning materials. Offering my students choices in where and how they work
combined with the organization of space and the strategic placement of furniture
has resulted in better self-awareness, greater personal responsibility, and
As indicated by observation and
student inventories, the majority of my students are tactile-kinesthetic learners.
My students spend a signigicant part of their day immersed in
tactile-kinesthetic experiences such as creating products, conducting
experiments, building and coding robots. These activities have not only yielded
higher achievement, but also increased engagement and on-task behavior.
Allowing my students to have a voice
in their learning experiences has proven to successfully increasing student
achievement. In my classroom, I strive to provide rich learning experiennces
that are based on student interest. For example, a portion of each day in my
class is spent working on project based learning. Students may choose from a
multitude of topics that I provide, or they can choose to develop their own topic
and driving question. Students are also given a choice in their product and
method of presentation. As skill levels and confidence increase, students
transition from being teacher-directed to self-directed. Through these
long-term projects, students experience both the frustrations and rewards of
positive and productive relationships with my students has the greatest impact
on my their achievement. My students know that I believe they are capable of
succeeding. As a result, they are more willing to take risks, and to ask for
help if needed, and put forth their best effort. I push them to achieve more than
they ever thought possible, and they never fail to amaze me.