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1-2 Learning Differences

The candidate uses understanding of differences in individuals, cultures, and communities to


ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet rigorous standards.
Students must, first and foremost, feel secure and safe within the classroom in order for it to
become an effective learning environment. One of the ways a teacher can ensure his or her
students are comfortable in his or her classroom is by creating an inclusive environment. In order
to make this happen, the teacher, as well as each of his or her students, must have an
understanding of the differences in individuals, cultures, and communities within the
demographic of the class.
It is of the utmost importance that students feel welcome and included in a classroom. These are
unspoken prerequisites to learning. As a teacher, I am aware of this importance and recognize
that regardless of ethnicity, my class will always be diverse because each of my students are
unique individuals. That being said, each student has had different life experiences that have
shaped who they are as an individual. This is the first step to building a relationship of trust.
When students feel valued and understood, they feel included. Another way in which I can use
my understanding of differences in my students is through creating culturally relevant pedagogy.
For example, I could include various countries’ flags. I could also simply include other practices
and songs from another culture in my lessons.
The three artifacts I have below exemplify my understand of the various differences in my
students’ learning. Artifact one shows an example of a lesson I created for a second-grade
classroom that provides students with an opportunity to learn about a different culture using the
world music pedagogy instructional approach. The second artifact, a different second-grade
lesson plan I taught during my student teaching experience. This lesson plan included a number
of different ways for students to understand the information. The third artifact is an example of
me recognizing that each student in this wind ensemble learns differently by taking the time to
teach how 32nd notes were counted because while some students already understood, many
needed this instruction to understand how to count their rhythms. A good example of this taking
place would be at 20:37 mark in the video.