Core of the Matter: Personalized Learning for Our Students and Teachers (#CoreMatters)

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April 08, 2015 04:00 pm


From 2008–10, I taught fifth grade in south Phoenix, doing all that I could to help my students master state standards and deepen their learning to be prepared for college and beyond. In terms of scope and execution, it was unequivocally one of the hardest challenges with which I have ever been tasked. They were right at the precipice of shifting from elementary to secondary education, and the range of skills with which my students came to me were extremely stratified. Some were making plot inferences about a novel, while others were having trouble phonetically processing the words to even read a paragraph. Some could use equations to tackle complex math problems, while others were still counting addition and multiplication problems with their fingers. My school served K–8 students, increasing the transparency of what my students were supposed to know down the line, so I often worried how to serve them.

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