I really enjoyed this chapter and felt like it brought everything "together" for me. I especially liked the list they provided about what effective teachers do in their classroom to become effective. An effective teacher is a teacher who differentiates. How can I be effective in my teaching if I am not reaching every single one my students? I loved the quote in the book that said, "Virtually all learners benefit when they learn in places with high instructional ceilings and lots of ways to climb to the top." This is a principle of differentiation. We need to make a way up and never a way out for our students, have high expectations, and be flexible! I love that it mentioned there are numerous ways to climb to the top. I know it will be a challenge but I need to allow my students the flexibility to learn the way that they learn best. If I allow them that freedom my students will learn more quickly and effectively, and I will become a better teacher.
The book talked about showing each learner how learning has meaning in his or her life and how that life takes on new meaning as it grows in the power of learning. It is so important to engage my students and there is no better way than teaching them how the things that we are learning really are applicable in their own lives. If students can see that relationship their motivation will increase which allows them to reach and even surpass that "high ceiling" within our own classroom.
In the book it talked about how effective teaching is responsive teaching by creating ties with each child. I love that is said effective teaching is responsive teaching. If what we are doing isn't working or reaching students we need to respond to that and teach in a way students can connect with. We can only achieve responsive teaching when we "let loose" and be willing to do something we aren't 100% confident or comfortable doing. I need to be willing to take risks as a teacher, and if I fall flat on my face, pick myself up and try something new. I know that when I am passionate about my students and teaching them I will be able to teach in a responsive way. In the book it said, "The more willing we are to take the risks, the better the lives of our students are likely to become, the greater the fulfillment we are likely to feel at the end of the day." I know that is true and will strive to teach that way in my own classroom.
"We simply have to decide the shape we want our teaching careers to take, and begin moving in that direction." It seems so simple, but it is quite the daunting task. I think I'm up for the challenge! :)