First non-professional-development day

Yesterday was a semi-productive inservice day.  None of the inservice topics were new to me, but we were tasked with improving on a previously written lesson using differentiated instruction.  Seeing as I had no previously written lesson plan, I assisted one of my CTs with improving one.  I plan to try to write one later using differentiated instruction methods to satisfy the principal’s call, but I haven’t yet selected a topic.  Although I agree with differentiated instruction in principle, I find myself getting anxious over a tendency to cater to each student’s preferred modality rather than build on weaker ones.  Surely some balance in this dialectic exists?  Perhaps even synthesized into a harnessing of group diversity to advance individual learning à la Japanese mathematics?  I like the idea of improving stale lessons, but the process lacks the accountability and collaboration of lesson study.

Today was the first day with students.  I assisted only in a minor capacity while trying to learn student names, something at which I am exceedingly bad.  The day, however, passed without incident, so I shall use the remainder of my evening to make some flash cards to help me learn student names (and for later when asking questions).  The one thing I will note, which carries increased salience now that I have read The Teaching Gap and its comparisons with Japan, is that there were an aweful lot of interruptions to class today.  The teaching could not help but be fragmented, though the teachers did the best they could.


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