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)].

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