Monday, July 20, 2015

Am I a Tier 1 teacher?

A colleague of mine told me about three tiers of students and the different supports they receive.  That is, students at the top of the pyramid, or Tier 3 students, are students with profound challenges that cannot be met in the classroom alone.  Tier 2 students have challenges that can be supported with a few additional measures.  Tier 1 students are the bulk of students; their needs can be met within the classroom.

I was writing an email in reply and came to a realization: I am a Tier 1 guy. That is not to say I reject or ignore Tier 2 and 3 students. I think it is my goal to have all needs of all students met as much as possible within the regular classroom. It is also my goal to support all my students so that they don't turn into Tier 2 and 3 students. 

Here are some thing that I think about in terms of supporting all students:

  • I have the design point of view that works in service of Self-Regulation, and that classroom environment must be in sync with instruction.  (Tier 1)
  • I am a classroom teacher who has had some success with kids who have real challenges because I build strong relationships with those students, create a place where they belong, and try to be consistent in terms of expectations, discipline, and instruction.  (Tier 1)
  • I believe in the UDL framework that what is good for some benefits many.  (Tier 1)
  • I work from strengths (not deficits, and not one size fits all). (Tier 1)

Everything I do seems to operate from a Tier 1 perspective.

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