Student Portraits: Honoring Diverse Learners

If you follow education or teach yourself, you’re probably aware of all the latest trends and issues. There’s the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, which is hotly debated. There are schools experimenting with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and other technology, hoping to empower students by teaching “21st Century” skills. There’s debate over teacher tenure and charter schools.

For those of us in the trenches, all of the aforementioned issues are secondary to honoring, understanding, and reaching the diverse learners populating our hallways and classrooms. Above is a tribute to some of my current and former students at Fern Creek Traditional High School in Louisville, KY.

Despite having many one-sized-fits-all policies in education, we must find ways to understand, engage, and support each student as individuals. Try to Imagine any “program” or “curriculum” that will meet the needs of all of these students.

Difficult, right?


  1. I’m teaching two college classes this fall, one all freshmen and one all seniors. It’s really challenging to manage a total of 16 people (which is few, I know!) and their wildly different needs. I give them my best and hope!

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