Teachers create opportunity for all

From Preston Clarke, Assistant Principal, Watauga High School, NC

I recently had the opportunity to observe a team-taught, English inclusion class.  The two teachers worked well together, but what made this class special were their preparation and commitment to engaging all students.

The class was held in the technology lab, so students could work on smartboards. Students were put in groups and given cameras.  They were expected to videotape their work.

I was impressed with the confidence the teachers had in their students, many of whom were not high achievers. I couldn’t tell who was enjoying the lesson more — the teachers or the students. I have observed in other classes with low-achieving students, and teachers sometimes seemed frustrated.  The current emphasis on high standardized test scores pressures them to prepare low-achieving students for the test.

That is why some teachers decide not to incorporate the kind of creative activities tried by these teachers.  This lesson demonstrated the teachers’ courage and imagination.  I was also impressed with their passion and commitment to all students.


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