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My cooperating teacher often comments on how teachers must adapt to their students. No class, or student, is the same, and teachers must accommodate the diverse needs and learning styles of all learners. For each of my lessons, I create methods for adaptation and differentiation to address the many diverse needs of my students. For my student teaching internship, I taught an inclusion class where several students had either IEP or 504 plans, and a paraprofessional provided these students with accommodations in the classroom. I collaborated with the paraprofessional prior to class to provide these students with specialized lesson activities that were adapted to their learning styles. For example, if a lesson had students working with primary documents, I would provide an abbreviated version of these documents for students who struggled with reading comprehension. Furthermore, I was able to provide students with higher reading levels additional activities in order to challenge and develop their analytical skills.

As a teacher, I want to work to provide the best education to all my students, and this includes making adaptations or accommodations to the curriculum, lessons, tests, and grading. I will have the same larger goal for all my students - for them to learn, understand, and think about history. But the means of achieving this goal, in terms teaching the material to my students, and evaluating their knowledge, can be differentiated according to each student’s individual needs and learning styles. As discussed in my Professional Dispositions page, as the teacher, it is my role to collaborate with each student's family in order to create the best education possible. Through open collaboration and discussion, I can better understand my students' needs and work to better their education.

An essential part of education is the inclusion of multiple cultures and perspectives. In social studies, this means the examination of how different people, times, and places have affected how we view the world today. My concept lesson on discrimination involved students in the examination of the history of prejudice, and my Socratic seminar on John Gast's "American Progress" painting challenged students to address different cultural viewpoints in American history. When I teach, I frame my lessons with an overarching message of how morality and respect have applied to our history. In my classroom this past spring, students debated the qualifications for just war, questioned the morality of attacks on civilians, and examined the merits and downfalls of communism and democracy. Classrooms should be a place where students can examine multiple, diverse perspectives with respect, in a way that accommodates their own diverse styles of learning.