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Teachers As Practitioners

Early on in my teaching program, one of the professors introduced me to the idea that teachers had the responsibility to approach the classroom through the lens of a practitioner. After all, the role a teacher has in the shaping of a student’s brain is profound. As we move through any given school year, the choices we make in our behavior management system, the way we present materials to students, and the classroom culture we create impacts each student individually and in a way that causes changes in their brain. Their neurons are firing, building connections (hopefully positive ones) and lifelong attitudes towards learning are developing. Each day a student spends in a classroom, their brain leaves at least a little different than when they first entered. That is a huge responsibility!

This is one of many reasons that I highly endorse a practitioner view of student learning. It is critical that, as practitioners, we identify strengths and areas of challenge and prescribe a set of treatment through skill-based targeted instruction. Of course, it is not purely scientific. Teaching practitioners must also understand the many different categories that make up a student’s identity and find ways to make learning accessible to each student. This is where the art and science of teaching so beautifully meld. Ongoing formative assessment both through observation and by reviewing student artifacts (assignments) should be notated in a way that works for each individual teacher. (Again, if there is not a one size fits all method for student learning, then why would there be a one size fits all teacher style?

I specialize in creating classrooms that blend this art and science. Please contact me at deanna@deannawestedt.com for a free consultation to see what ways I can assist you in creating depth of knowledge equity for all.

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