My sophomore year of college, I walked into my first psychology class, briefly heard from Dr. Bryan Saville (the professor), and participated in a type of learning I had never before experienced in college or in my PK-12 education. Little did I know I would end up majoring in psychology, Dr. Saville would become my thesis advisor, and my thesis research topic would focus on this unique structure known as interteaching.
In the midst of a lesson, an inclusion teacher (or co-teacher) is often considering two different needs for each of their students: (1) the strategies to implement so that each student reaches their Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals, and (2) the accommodations to provide so that each student accesses and comprehends the current lesson. Inclusion teachers must use a variety of approaches in order for their students to successfully achieve their individualized goals and master the daily lesson objectives. Here are 4 approaches to add to your repertoire.
If you have ever had the opportunity to watch Ella Bess Marshall teach children or lead a coaching meeting with an adult, you know about 2 minutes in that you are in the presence of greatness (aka: a truly talented teacher). Ella Bess began teaching in 2006 and since that time has taught upper elementary and middle school math and coached 4th-8th grade math. In 2010, she was on the founding team at Henderson Collegiate and is there currently serving as an instructional coach and grade level chair coach. If you happen to find yourself in Henderson, North Carolina, go check her out. You will leave a better educator.
Do you remember studying for the ACT or GRE? Did you buy the vocabulary flashcards or make your own? I remember the summer of 2009 as “The One With the GRE Flashcards” because I took them everywhere and reviewed them in every spare moment. Whether it was by the pool, in the DMV, at the doctor’s office, or at my kitchen table, my anxiety about memorizing the vocabulary words continued to increase. I remember wishing I had received better vocabulary instruction in school. The reality is, in many places, we still aren’t YET teaching vocabulary, or word study, well. The key word here is: YET.
I entered the teaching profession hungry to learn how to be a great educator and ready to become the next National Teacher of the Year! I watched Stand and Deliver, Freedom Writers, Dangerous Minds, Lean on Me, and Dead Poets Society, just to name a few. I was ready!
As LeBron James says, “Nothing is Given. Everything is Earned.” Regardless of your feelings on LeBron, it is important for our young people (well, all people) to internalize this life lesson.