Teach to One: Bridging the Gap With Individualized Instruction
In the 2019 administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 34 percent of American 8th graders met or exceeded grade-level standards. Is that a failing of our teachers? Of course not. It’s a failure of the way we think about education.
The Modern Education Dilemma
Teachers in the U.S. are highly trained professionals with the skills, talent, and genuine compassion necessary to make a difference. The problem is that they and their students are being consistently set up for failure. Students are supposed to meet various standards by the time they finish each grade level. At face value, that should mean that teachers should teach the content required to achieve mastery at that grade level. That’s why most principals and other administrators require teachers to deliver and assess a very prescribed chunk of content in each subject and grade.
That sounds simple enough, but the crux of the problem is that most students do not achieve mastery at the end of the year and move on to the next grade lacking the ability to be successful in subsequent grade levels. They are underprepared for the challenges that lie ahead, and that gap increases each year.
Many of these deficiencies are driven by factors far beyond the school’s control. The gap between affluent and disadvantaged children starts out small in early years and grows, becoming more pronounced, as a student progresses. It’s not just socioeconomic status that can suppress a student’s ability to achieve. Other students, such as those with disabilities or those who are English language learners, also start on a not-so-level playing field.
That’s a factor that all educators are aware of and that state legislators and other stakeholders bemoan loudly when designing educational standards and programs. However, there have been very few effective solutions that actually do anything to address those gaps and inequalities.
Teacher-led instruction that is organized out of a textbook is not the best way to teach; other modalities are necessary to reach students at all levels and of varying learning styles. A fundamentally different classroom is necessary to help all students succeed. Personalized learning is necessary to change the traditional way that we have always looked at education. Content and intensity both need to be tailored to a student’s needs, goals, and abilities.
Most students arrive at middle and high school with significant learning gaps that must be filled for them to succeed. Expecting one teacher to fill those gaps in a single year while also preparing learners for a grade-level state assessment is laughable.
About Teach to One
Personalized instruction sounds great, but with school budgets and teacher salaries constantly being cut, how can schools be expected to administer personally tailored instruction to each and every student? After all, a teacher is only one person. As school budgets shrink, class sizes get larger. One teacher is left trying to instruct a huge number of kids, each of whom has different learning needs.
It’s simple; they need to consider Teach to One, a more individualized approach to education by New Classrooms. This approach takes the logistical challenges out of personalization by leveraging the power of technology. Teach to One isn’t all about software. The approach includes an academic component with all of the familiar features that teachers love (like content, skill maps, assessments, and so on) and an operational component (the day-to-day flow of a classroom, like homework and sub plans).
With this approach, teachers work together to offer instruction via several different learning stations. It integrates a number of instructional approaches that are meant to offer each student an education that is tailored to their needs and strengths.
Founded by Joel Rose, a former fifth grade teacher, Teach to One offers customized learning solutions, which are based on assessments at the beginning of each school year, for every individual student. This transformative solution serves as a partnership with schools who are interested in implementing innovative learning solutions to better serve their students.
This approach is taking over education in nearly a dozen major cities and regions throughout the country. It offers a better experience for both students and teachers. Teach to One is a solution that is focused on personalization. No two students are alike, so why are they receiving the same instruction?
This solution takes a more dynamic approach, with nine separate modalities and ways that students can learn. Some are independent, some are collaborative, and some are teacher led. But what all of them have in common is that they figure out how individual students can be successful and offer those approaches accordingly.
Teach to One is a solution that has already seen huge results, with gains nearly one and a half times those reflected at the national level. Although the approach is designed primarily for math at this point, it will one day look beyond that core area to provide transformative solutions in other areas as well.
In a perfect world, every student would be directed toward a personally achievable and ambitious pathway to college and career readiness. With Teach to One, schools can get one step closer to achieving that dream. We all have lessons to learn when it comes to instruction, and Teach to One is here to help provide solutions to bridge those educational gaps.
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