Monthly Archives: February 2020

Learning Differences

Standard Two of the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium states that teachers must take into consideration the diverse individual needs of students while being conscious of their cultural and communal identities to ensure all learners are afforded an inclusive environment that allows students to meet high standards. Below is a collection of evidence and artifacts that demonstrate my ability to incorporate the elements of Learning Differences into my instructional strategies and learning environment.

Taking time throughout the school day to work with a single student or a small group of people based on their individual learning strengths and needs is a critical strategy I use to ensure I’m meeting the criteria for Learning Differences [Performances 2(A)]. In the image to the right, I’m working with a small group of students with various individual needs, and in preparing their academic materials, I took extensive efforts in making sure the goals and objectives were aligned with their rates of growth,  task capabilities, and expected response modes [Performaces 2(B)]. Additionally, I’ve collaborated with the special needs and English language learner (ELL) instructors to ensure these students are receiving the appropriate instruction in an environment that effectively promotes learning [Performances 2(E&F].


Teachers must also recognize and identify the different approaches to learning and subsequently design instruction that promotes academic and social growth, especially for those with learning disabilities and gifted students [Essential Knowledge 2(G&H). In this image, both gifted and disabled students are working on tasks that are appropriate for their instructional zone of proximal development in a shared learning environment, promoting the specialized academic and social growth of all individuals [Essential Knowledge 2(J)].


Understanding learning differences also requires teachers to take a proactive approach in consistently seeking out knowledge about how various conditions may impact the ability of a student to learn. One strategy for ensuring I’m cognizant of individual learning needs has been completing several training modules on dyslexia awareness, child abuse and neglect, and the effects of trauma on learning. During my time as an instructional aid, I have also had the pleasure of learning about a very special, special needs student – Dax, pictured to the right. I work with him daily to ensure I am meeting the goals of his IEP and providing a safe and healthy environment for him to learn and grow in.  As an aspiring teacher, I intend to ensure every student in my classroom is respected, nurtured, and encouraged to be the best version of themselves regardless of differences or disabilities [Critical Dispositions 2(F, M,&N)]. Furthermore, I will create a learning environment where all members of the class learn the value of diversity and inclusivity in order to establish a cohesive environment where academic and social growth can blossom [Critical Dispositions 2(O)].

For a more detailed look into learning differences, please click the link below:



Learner Development

Standard One: Learner Development

The first standard of the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, Learner Development, states that teachers must have comprehensive knowledge of how students grow and develop and be mindful of the various cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical components of learner development that are unique to every individual student. Using this knowledge, teachers must then align their teaching methods and curriculum to most effectively meet the academic, social, environmental, and behavioral needs of students to enhance their overall learning experience.

One method I’ve utilized to demonstrate the components of the Learner Development Standard is spending a great deal of time working one-on-one with students in order to determine their specific academic, social, and cognitive needs [Performances 1(A)]. This image depicts myself working with a special needs student who has benefitted from specially designed classwork that I constructed to meet his developmental needs by using strategies that capture his individual interests [Performances 1(B)]. I also spent time collaborating with the student’s classroom and special needs teachers to gain insight into what methods and strategies should be used to promote this learner’s growth and development [Performances 1(C)].

Additionally, I develop lesson plans using  Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences to ensure a variety of strategies are used to meet the unique academic learning styles of all students in the classroom. Employing this method demonstrates an understanding of how learning occurs [Essential Knowledge 1(D)] as well as how to make instructional decisions that engage learners’ strengths and meets their varying needs (Essential Knowledge 1(E)]. This image includes artifacts from a lesson plan that included six of Gardner’s eight multiple intelligences – visual/spatial, linguistic/verbal, interpersonal, logical/mathematical, intrapersonal, and bodily/kinesthetic.

I also have extensive experience using various assessment strategies to identify readiness for learning [Essential Knowledge 1(F)]. One example of such an assessment is presented to the right, which indicates that the materials chosen for the student’s assessment were at the appropriate instructional zone. Other methods I’ve utilized for determining student readiness for learning include both formal assessments such as conducting Phonological Awareness Literacy Screenings and Developmental Spelling Assessments, as wells as informal strategies that include discussions with students, teachers, families, counselors, and other specialists who have insight into the student’s learning capabilities and unique individual needs. Using various strategies to determine a student’s readiness for learning is a critical component of Learner Development and as an aspiring teacher, I intend to use all the strategies at my disposal to differentiate instruction to meet the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical needs of the students in my classroom.

For a more detailed look into learner development, please click the link below: