There's a will to help students move ahead. Research shows that when the teaching is engaging, brain-friendly, and positive, children make good gains. I have seen this happen during my tenure, but I have also experienced student resistance to perseverance, focus, and a serious attitude towards learning. Now some might say that a good teacher can work to change that, and I do admit that my goal is to work to change that. Yet with large numbers of students who represent a good deal of variation when it comes to learning needs, I must say that to meet the needs of all is not always easy.
What's a teacher to do?
Teachers try multiple strategies when it comes meeting the needs of all children, and as you might imagine, some of those strategies work and some of those strategies do not work. There are times of utter frustration when you try and try to find good strategies to serve a child well amongst others and still reach little success.
That's when teachers have to think about what they can do to help as many children as possible. To slow down the learning in ways that stifle learning for many seems unfair to all the students who are eager to learn, but to leave a few behind because of behavior, lack of perseverance, or other factors is not right either.
The goal is the just right push--the just right encouragement to move all children forward. Teaching well is not always an easy affair as every teacher knows, but that's no reason to give up. Instead it's important to keep trying to see what will shift the tide. Onward.