6 Ways Teachers Can Foster Cultural Awareness in the Classroom

Education Week

A multicultural society is best served by a culturally responsive curriculum. Schools that acknowledge the diversity of their student population understand the importance of promoting cultural awareness.  Teachers who are interested in fostering a cultural awareness in their classroom should actively demonstrate to their students that they genuinely care about their cultural, emotional, and intellectual needs.  To this end, there are several strategies that you can use to build trusting relationships with diverse students. To incorporate cultural awareness into your classroom curriculum, you should:

1.  Express interest in the ethnic background of your students. Encourage your students to research and share information about their ethnic background as a means of fostering a trusting relationship with fellow classmates.  Analyze and celebrate differences in traditions, beliefs, and social behaviors.  It is of note that this task helps European-American students realize that their beliefs and traditions constitute a culture as well, which is a necessary breakthrough in the development of a truly culturally responsive classroom.  Also, take the time to learn the proper pronunciation of student names and express interest in the etymology of interesting and diverse names.

2.  Redirect your role in the classroom from instructor to facilitator. Another important requirement for creating a nurturing environment for students is reducing the power differential between the instructor and students.  Students in an authoritarian classroom may sometimes display negative behaviors as a result of a perceived sense of social injustice; in the culturally diverse classroom, the teacher thus acts more like a facilitator than an instructor.  Providing students with questionnaires about what they find to be interesting or important provides them with a measure of power over what they get to learn and provides them with greater intrinsic motivation and connectedness to the material.  Allowing students to bring in their own reading material and present it to the class provides them with an opportunity to both interact with and share stories, thoughts, and ideas that are important to their cultural and social perspective.

3.  Maintain a strict level of sensitivity to language concerns. In traditional classrooms, students who are not native English speakers often feel marginalized, lost, and pressured into discarding their original language in favor of English.  In a culturally responsive classroom, diversity of language is celebrated and the level of instructional materials provided to non-native speakers are tailored to their level of English fluency.  Accompanying materials should be provided in the student’s primary language and the student should be encouraged to master English.

4.  Maintain high expectations for student performance. Given that culturally responsive instruction is a student-centered philosophy, it should come as no surprise that expectations for achievement are determined and assigned individually for each student.  Students don’t receive lavish praise for simple tasks but do receive praise in proportion to their accomplishments. If a student is not completing her work, then one should engage the student positively and help guide the student toward explaining how to complete the initial steps that need to be done to complete a given assignment or task.

5.  Incorporate methods for self-testing. Another potent method for helping students become active participants in learning is to reframe the concept of testing.  While testing is usually associated with grades (and therefore stress) in traditional classrooms, in a culturally responsive classroom frequent non-graded tests can be used to provide progress checks and ensure that students don’t fall behind on required material. Teaching students to self-test while learning new information will help them better remember and use what they’ve learned in class and will help them realize on their own when they need to study a topic in greater depth.

6.  Maintain an “inclusive” curriculum that remains respectful of differences.  A culturally responsive curriculum is both inclusive in that it ensures that all students are included within all aspects of the school and it acknowledges the unique differences students may possess. A culturally responsive curriculum also encourages teachers’ understanding and recognition of each student’s non-school cultural life and background, and provides a means for them to incorporate this information into the curriculum, thus promoting inclusion.

Schools have the responsibility to teach all students how to synthesize cultural differences into their knowledge base, in order to facilitate students’ personal and professional success in a diverse world.  A culturally responsive curriculum helps students from a minority ethnic/racial background develop a sense of identity as individuals, as well as proudly identify with their particular culture group. Teachers can play a big role in helping these students succeed through the establishment of culturally responsive classrooms.

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Making School About Connection

Edutopia

Traditionally, schools have not promoted human-centered relationships. With the exception of the primary years, students are expected to rush from class to class, searching for meaning in short periods of time allotted with each of their teachers. In this model, each course is meant to pack in as much content as possible while pausing only for exams which are supposed to determine how much a student “knows.”

In the real world, meaning comes from relationships, from feelings of belonging, and from work that allows for exploration, self-expression, and self-examination. No one looking back on his or her school experience remembers a particularly poignant test. Instead, people remember the teacher who reached out to them at a vulnerable moment, the unit that changed the way they understand an issue, or the project that seemed impossible at first but then became something far beyond everyone’s expectations.

Teaching and learning are incredibly complex and impossible to script. What we can do is commit ourselves to practices and structures that value our students as people with real human needs. By working to meet these needs and working to make schools more people-centered, we help transform potential experiences of alienation and disconnection into joyful examples of supportive community where young people can explore, take risks, and discover themselves.

There are many small and large ways for teachers to build deeper connections with students. Below are a few suggestions of approaches that have worked for me.

1. Check In With Students

The small moments before or after classes, during lunches, in the hallways, and at activity times are all opportunities for small conversations with students. Warm, genuine greetings and attempts to connect can have a large impact. At other times, teachers can take a moment to ask a student about a sick grandmother or find out if someone is still struggling with work that frustrated him or he the day before.

2. Create a Classroom of Respect

Classrooms based on a foundation of respect encourage people to be kind and the best versions of themselves. These behaviors happen because they are the right thing to do in a community that values people, not because an authority figure demands it. Work to establish a tone of shared respect where issues are dealt with through conversation and where the entire group feels invested in maintaining a positive classroom culture.

3. Be Present

Teachers’ days are filled with interruptions. It is not always easy to abandon a large pile of work and listen deeply to a student who comes in during an unscheduled time. Yet moments like these are often the times when real connections are made and when people develop deeper, authentic understandings and relationships.

4. Host the Party

In the same way that party hosts should welcome and situate their guests, teachers should maintain an awareness of the experience of everyone in their classroom. Are people being excluded? Are there negative dynamics or interactions between certain students? What can be done to bring more students into the mainstream and alleviate feelings of marginalization?

5. Respond to Student Work With Kindness and Validation

Human-centered environments help people grow. Feedback for student work is an opportunity to validate effort and success while encouraging learners to grow and strengthen their skills. If the first message that students get about their work is what is wrong or how it is deficient, they are less likely to invest themselves in revision, and less likely to work hard in the future. If students hear what is interesting, special, or unique about their work, they will more likely be open to suggestions for improvement.

6. Make It Fun

Being in community is a joyful and challenging experience. Create rituals that help everyone laugh and be willing to pause the action to appreciate each other. Congratulate a class when they complete a large project. If there are two extra minutes at the end of class, let a student tell a joke to the group. Try ending each week by having a different student sing the class a song. Also, laugh at yourself — it’s the best way to break down barriers and share your own humanity.

Teaching is wonderful because it involves people. As much as I plan, I can never foresee the rewarding and challenging moments that will fill each day. By recognizing students as people and working to create schools and classrooms that value the human experience, we can create spaces for possibility and deeper meaning for students, for people, and for ourselves.

The six suggestions I’ve listed above are by no means the last word in humanizing the school experience. Please add your own ideas in the comments below.

A New Paradigm for Accountability: The Joy of Learning

Posted: 11/12/2014 

Now that we have endured more than a dozen long years of No Child Left Behind and five fruitless, punitive years of Race to the Top, it is clear that they both failed. They relied on carrots and sticks and ignored intrinsic motivation. They crushed children’s curiosity instead of cultivating it.* They demoralized schools. They disrupted schools and communities without improving children’s education.

We did not leave no child behind. The same children who were left behind in 2001-02 are still left behind. Similarly, Race to the Top is a flop. The Common Core tests are failing most students, and we are nowhere near whatever the “Top” is. If a teacher gave a test, and 70% of the students failed, we would say she was not competent, tested what was not taught, didn’t know her students. The Race turns out to be NCLB with a mask. NCLB on steroids. NCLB 2.0.

Whatever you call it, RTTT has hurt children, demoralized teachers, closed community schools, fragmented communities, increased privatization, and doubled down on testing.

I have an idea for a new accountability system that relies on different metrics. We begin by dropping standardized test scores as measures of quality or effectiveness. We stop labeling, ranking, and rating children, teachers, and schools. We use tests only when needed for diagnostic purposes, not for comparing children to their peers, not to find winners and losers. We rely on teachers to test their students, not corporations.

The new accountability system would be called No Child Left Out. The measures would be these:

How many children had the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument?

How many children had the chance to play in the school band or orchestra?

How many children participated in singing, either individually or in the chorus or a glee club or other group?

How many public performances did the school offer?

How many children participated in dramatics?

How many children produced documentaries or videos?

How many children engaged in science experiments? How many started a project in science and completed it?

How many children learned robotics?

How many children wrote stories of more than five pages, whether fiction or nonfiction?

How often did children have the chance to draw, paint, make videos, or sculpt?

How many children wrote poetry? Short stories? Novels? History research papers?

How many children performed service in their community to help others?

How many children were encouraged to design an invention or to redesign a common item?

How many students wrote research papers on historical topics?

Can you imagine an accountability system whose purpose is to encourage and recognize creativity, imagination, originality, and innovation? Isn’t this what we need more of?

Well, you can make up your own metrics, but you get the idea. Setting expectations in the arts, in literature, in science, in history, and in civics can change the nature of schooling. It would require far more work and self-discipline than test prep for a test that is soon forgotten.

My paradigm would dramatically change schools from Gradgrind academies to halls of joy and inspiration, where creativity, self-discipline, and inspiration are nurtured, honored, and valued.

This is only a start. Add your own ideas. The sky is the limit. Surely we can do better than this era of soul-crushing standardized testing.

*Kudos to Southold Elementary School in Long Island, where these ideas were hatched as I watched the children’s band playing a piece they had practiced.

Science Shows How People With Messy Desks Are Actually Different Than Everyone Else

News.Mic

Are you too messy? Instead of a filing cabinet, do you have piles of folders bursting to the seams? Is your Rolodex covered with doodles, while your drawers are full of loose business cards? Do memos arrive at your desk only to be tossed in an overstuffed trash can or linger in eternity amid a heap of their forgotten brethren?

We’re trained to think that messiness is evil and unproductive. But there might be a method to all that madness.

It turns out science can explain. There’s fairly robust psychological evidence that messiness isn’t just symptomatic of poor standards or effort, but might actually provoke creativity.

That’s the hypothesisis that, as psychologist Kathleen Vohs writes in the New York Times, “being around messiness would lead people away from convention, in favor of new directions.” To test this hypothesis, Vohs invited 188 adults to rooms that were either tidy or “messy, with papers and books strewn around haphazardly.”

Each adult was then presented with one of two menus from a deli that served fruit smoothies, with half of the subjects seeing a menu with one item billed as “classic” and another billed as “new.” The results (published in Psychological Science), Vohs reports, were enlightening:

As predicted, when the subjects were in the tidy room they chose the health boost more often — almost twice as often — when it had the “classic” label: that is, when it was associated with convention. Also as predicted, when the subjects were in the messy room, they chose the health boost more often — more than twice as often — when it was said to be “new”: that is, when it was associated with novelty. Thus, people greatly preferred convention in the tidy room and novelty in the messy room.

A second experiment with 48 adults found that subjects in a messy environment came up with ideas “28% more creative” while creating a list of unconventional uses for ping pong balls, even though the two groups came up with the same number of ideas. Vohs argues the results are clear: Messiness actually spurs creativity.

Source: Getty Images

Columbia Business School professor Eric Abrahamson notes that the debate on messiness can overlook the crucial fact that order has opportunity costs, like forcing employees to devote valuable time to maintaining an orderly environment that could otherwise be spent on projects. He argues:

Creativity is spurred when things that we tend not to organize in the same category come together. When you allow some messiness into a system, new combinations can result. If you keep all your tools in the tool shed and all your kitchen utensils in the kitchen, you might never think of using a kitchen utensil as a tool or vice-versa.

Of course, messiness doesn’t necessarily refer to how many coffee cups on your desk need to be thrown out. Abrahamson adds that “the best studies on strategic planning indicate that firms with elaborate strategic planning systems do no better than firms that don’t have them,” possibly because an emphasis on order can reduce the flexibility of some companies.

On the micro level, in 2007 Abrahamson and fellow researcher David H. Freedman wrote that a messy desk could actually be a “highly effective prioritizing and accessing system” that quickly sorts items according to their importance. Piles of clutter that amass on unkempt desks may just be repositories for “safely ignorable stuff.” In other words, if it looks like trash, perhaps that’s because it wasn’t important enough to waste time filing.

On the other hand, as Freedman told the New York Times, “almost anything looks pretty neat if it’s shuffled into a pile.” Order doesn’t necessarily have inherent benefits in every space.

The takeaway: That’s not necessarily an argument for messiness (and nothing here justifies leaving underwear on the floor). But Your Story’s Malavika Velayanikal argued that there were two lessons that entrepreneurs could take away. One, employers shouldn’t overvalue orderliness in a work setting, because disorder might help trigger creative solutions to problems in the workplace. The other was that employers should harness the creative energy of disorderly environments by creating “varied office spaces” instead of minimalist ones in order to help employees “break free from conventional thinking.”

Basically, the emphasis on order and efficiency in work settings can be misplaced. Instead of maximizing efficiency, a rigid focus on routine can force employees to waste time on minutiae. Office Space had this lesson down:

While Some Parents Volunteer Too Much, Others Feel Excluded

The New York Times Motherlode blog

CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Time

This past September, just as I’ve done every September for the last few years, I signed up for the PTA. But this year, I told myself things would be different. I would go to every single meeting.

The first meeting came and went, and although a reminder was written down (in pen!) on my calendar and flashed across my Galaxy screen twice, I didn’t make it.

I blamed my crazy schedule and all the busyness that manages to consume me: work, projects, deadlines, traffic that I seem to live in, frazzled evening trips to the grocery store because a week’s worth of dinner was not planned. But I can’t use those excuses anymore. I want to be more involved, and it is important that I carve out time to participate and volunteer at both my 8-year-old and my 4-year-old’s schools.

The stereotype of the over-involved parents may be true of a few, but it isn’t true of me, or of many parents. Plenty of us have a hard time getting involved. For me, it’s time constraints. For others, it’s language barriers, or perceived racial or class barriers. Parents of color or immigrant parents whose children attend predominantly white schools are often reluctant to get involved. Lower-income parents may believe that they have nothing to bring to the table.

Joe Brewster and his wife, Michèle Stephenson, parents who released the 2013 critically acclaimed documentary “American Promise,” about two middle-class black families (one theirs) raising and educating their sons, don’t buy my time-constraint defense. “No parent had a crazier work schedule than me,” Mr. Brewster said. “I’m a doctor; I worked 12 hours a day when my oldest son was a young child. But guess what? I knew the importance of my son’s education. My father worked the graveyard shift and could barely read, but he understood on some level that he had to go to a PTA meeting and he went. So I don’t accept the hectic schedule excuse. Figure a way to get there.”

What helps, Mr. Brewster said, is a welcoming environment for all parents. How can schools encourage parents who want to be more involved, but perceive barriers? Otha Thornton, president of the National PTA, said it’s a top priority of the National PTA to help school communities embrace diversity and inclusion and ensure that all families feel invited and welcomed and are equipped with the tools to support their children and improve the school.

“Schools should ensure that all families in the school community feel welcomed and valued, are knowledgeable of opportunities to get involved and are empowered to advocate for and support their children,” Mr. Thornton said. “Schools also should demonstrate the importance of family involvement and the value of their involvement to student success and school improvement.”

The same parents who are reluctant to volunteer can believe that their help isn’t valuable to their child at home. This is particularly true of parents with less education, or those who face language barriers. School must work to encourage those parents to do what they feel they can. “Involvement is not limited to attending meetings or participating at school,” Mr. Thornton said. “It encompasses setting goals with children and fostering achievement of those goals, and looking in children’s backpacks every day and frequently viewing the parent portal, or whichever tool their school uses, developing a relationship with children’s teachers, and keeping in touch with them often.”

To that end, Ms. Stephenson and Mr. Brewster have established thePromise Clubs, small groups of parents, caregivers and educators committed to making a difference in their children’s and students’ academic lives. The couple has organized their share of parent meetings in their community and knows what it takes to get parents more involved. They suggest that heavily involved parents step up to get the less involved or hesitant parents more active. “In the same ways that youth look to their peers for guidance, support and trust, parents do the same,” Ms. Stephenson said. “We listen to other peers and parents before we listen to experts. So we need to learn how to maximize networking and support that can help bring more participation. Those who are more involved can reach out and create connection with those less involved to create some form of trust or understanding to get information.”

Mr. Thornton points enthusiastically to more than 40 years of research showing that regardless of a family’s income or socioeconomic background, family engagement in education is essential for student success and school improvement. “Students whose families are involved attend school more regularly, earn better grades, enroll in higher-level programs, and have higher graduation rates.”

Enough said. I’ll be at the next PTA meeting. And once I’m involved, I’ll look around and see who isn’t represented — and reach out to invite them next time.

Read more about the PTA and parent involvement on Motherlode: When Elite Parents Dominate Volunteers, Children Lose; Not a ‘PTA Mom’; Heading the PTA, and Challenging the School Board in Colorado and Amid Million Dollar PTAs, a School Fights to Keep Its Library.

What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship

Edutopia

The greatest software invented for human safety is the human brain. It’s time that we start using those brains. We must mix head knowledge with action. In my classroom, I use two essential approaches in the digital citizenship curriculum that I teach: proactive knowledge and experiential knowledge.

Proactive Knowledge

I want my students to know the “9 Key Ps” of digital citizenship. I teach them about these aspects and how to use them. While I go into these Ps in detail in my book Reinventing Writing, here are the basics:

1. Passwords

Do students know how to create a secure password? Do they know that email and online banking should have a higher level of security and never use the same passwords as other sites? Do they have a system likeLastPass for remembering passwords, or a secure app where they store this information? (See 10 Important Password Tips Everyone Should Know.)

2. Privacy

Do students know how to protect their private information like address, email, and phone number? Private information can be used to identify you. (I recommend the Common Sense Media Curriculum on this.)

3. Personal Information

While this information (like the number of brothers and sisters you have or your favorite food) can’t be used to identify you, you need to choose who you will share it with.

4. Photographs

Are students aware that some private things may show up in photographs (license plates or street signs), and that they may not want to post those pictures? Do they know how to turn off a geotagging feature? Do they know that some facial recognition software can find them by inserting their latitude and longitude in the picture — even if they aren’t tagged? (See the Location-Based Safety Guide)

5. Property

Do students understand copyright, Creative Commons, and how to generate a license for their own work? Do they respect property rights of those who create intellectual property? Some students will search Google Images and copy anything they see, assuming they have the rights. Sometimes they’ll even cite “Google Images” as the source. We have to teach them that Google Images compiles content from a variety of sources. Students have to go to the source, see if they have permission to use the graphic, and then cite that source.

6. Permission

Do students know how to get permission for work they use, and do they know how to cite it?

7. Protection

Do students understand what viruses, malware, phishing, ransomware, and identity theft are, and how these things work? (See Experiential Knowledge below for tips on this one.)

8. Professionalism

Do students understand the professionalism of academics versus decisions about how they will interact in their social lives? Do they know about netiquette and online grammar? Are they globally competent? Can they understand cultural taboos and recognize cultural disconnects when they happen, and do they have skills for working out problems?

9. Personal Brand

Have students decided about their voice and how they want to be perceived online? Do they realize they have a “digital tattoo” that is almost impossible to erase? Are they intentional about what they share?

Experiential Knowledge

During the year, I’ll touch on each of these 9 Key Ps with lessons and class discussions, but just talking is not enough. Students need experience to become effective digital citizens. Here’s how I give them that:

Truth or Fiction

To protect us from disease, we are inoculated with dead viruses and germs. To protect students from viruses and scams, I do the same thing. Using current scams and cons from Snopes, Truth or Fiction, the Threat Encyclopedia, or the Federal Trade Commission website, I’m always looking for things that sound crazy but are true, or sound true but are false or a scam. I’ll give them to students as they enter class and ask them to be detectives. This opens up conversations of all kinds of scams and tips.

Turn Students into Teachers

Students will create tutorials or presentations exposing common scams and how to protect yourself. By dissecting cons and scams, students become more vigilant themselves. I encourage them to share how a person could detect that something was a scam or con.

Collaborative Learning Communities

For the most powerful learning experiences, students should participate in collaborative learning (like the experiences shared in Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds). My students will collaborate with others on projects likeGamifi-ed or the AIC Conflict Simulation (both mentioned in a recent post ongame-based learning).

Students need experience sharing and connecting online with others in a variety of environments. We have a classroom Ning where students blog together, and public blogs and a wiki for sharing our work with the world. You can talk about other countries, but when students connect, that is when they learn. You can talk about how students need to type in proper case and not use IM speak, but when their collaborative partner from Germany says they are struggling to understand what’s being typed in your classroom, then your students understand.

Digital Citizenship or Just Citizens?

There are those like expert Anne Collier who think we should drop the word “digital” because we’re really just teaching citizenship. These are the skills and knowledge that students need to navigate the world today.

We must teach these skills and guide students to experience situations where they apply knowledge. Citizenship is what we do to fulfill our role as a citizen. That role starts as soon as we click on the internet.

Dyslexia in the General Education Classroom

Edutopia

The following passage is about dyslexia. I want you to assume that I will be asking you a comprehension question or two when you are done. You have one minute. Go!

The bottob line it thit it doet exitt, no bitter whit nibe teotle give it (i.e. ttecific leirning ditibility, etc). In fict, iccording to Tilly Thiywitz (2003) itt trevilence it ictuilly one in five children, which it twenty tercent.

How was that? Did you stumble on some words? Did you skip words and or substitute with “whatever” or “something?” Based on experience, I am going to guess this was not easy for you. I will guess that if I asked you to read this in front of your peers, who are prone to judgment, you would feel anxious. I am also going to guess that if I asked you to tell me what you learned from the passage, you wouldn’t be able to recall any important information.

You just experienced dyslexia for one minute. During that minute, the passage slowed you down and forced you to pronounce words that didn’t seem to make any sense and weren’t familiar. You knew they were wrong, but you read them anyway. And how about that time factor? Did you feel pressed for time? If you were in a classroom full of your peers and I asked you to read this aloud and then asked comprehension questions, would your heart rate go up? Would you suddenly have to use the restroom? Or perhaps you’d need to go to the nurse with a stomachache? This is dyslexia.

What can a general education teacher do to help?

Understand Dyslexia

Let’s debunk a few of the myths and misconceptions right now. Dyslexia is not:

  • Seeing letters or words backward (In fact, reversing letters and words is developmentally normal through the first grade.)
  • Outgrown
  • A result of laziness or lack of motivation
  • A visual issue.

It is often said that dyslexia is an “umbrella term” when, in fact, it has a very specific definition. The International Dyslexia Organization says:

It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. Most students with dyslexia will receive the reading and writing help they need outside of the general education classroom, but there are many things a general education teacher can do to help students with dyslexia not only avoid situations, but thrive in your classroom.

Here is a short video from TED-Ed that explains dyslexia in just four minutes:

Understand the Role of Accommodations

Now that you have a better understanding of what dyslexia is and is not, it is important to know how you can help a student with dyslexia in the general education classroom. The best way, aside from the actual intervention, is to provide and understand the accommodations that he or she needs to be successful. Remember, these students are capable of learning, and many are intellectually gifted — their academic struggles are unexpected in relation to their innate ability to learn.

It cannot be overstated that students with dyslexia are capable of learning to read and write when given the appropriate intervention. This intervention should be structured and multisensory. It should be an explicit instruction of the underlying structure of English, and it should be informed by linguistics.

For many of these students, accommodations in the classroom can be the difference between academic success and academic failure and frustration. Below is a list of common and helpful accommodations:

  • Books on audio: These should be introduced as soon as a reading deficit is suspected, and implemented as early as kindergarten. The idea is to make sure that the intellectually capable student is not missing the chance to read good literature and the grade-level content he or she is capable of understanding in a format other than reading. Learning Ally andBookshare are reputable resources.
  • Do not require the student to read aloud, unless he or she volunteers or had the opportunity to practice.
  • Provide notes ahead of time or allow the student to record the lecture. The Livescribe Pen is a fantastic tool.
  • Allow the student to verbally respond to short-answer and essay questions as well as dictate longer passages. Dyslexia affects writing as much, if not more, than reading. Their struggle with writing can often mask their actual thoughts.
  • Do not mark off for spelling — grade written assignments based on content only.
  • Remove time limits from testing and other timed situations.
  • Give multiple opportunities for success. If students who struggle in reading and writing are better at science, math, artistic, or physical activities, you can motivate them by showcasing their talents in other areas. It may the one thing a teacher does to save those students’ interest in school.

Dyslexia is real, occurring in up to 20 percent of the population. That means there is a student in every classroom, in every neighborhood, and in every U.S. school. It also means that every classroom teacher has the opportunity to positively change the life of a student with dyslexia by taking the time to understand what it is and provide accommodations for accessing information that student is capable of learning through alternate formats.

Do you know that teacher? Are you that teacher?