Many factors effect student achievement, including some over which teachers have no influence. Therefore, teachers must focus on having the greatest effect where they have the greatest influence — in their classrooms.
Student achievement is accelerated when teachers use ongoing, formative assessments to determine their students’ knowledge of curriculum, carefully evaluate their students’ strengths and next steps, and differentiate instruction to meet individual student needs. Teachers must match students with appropriate resources, approaches, and strategies, set high expectations for learning, monitor student growth over time, and work hard to meet the diverse needs of everyone, including second language learners, high performing students, and students with special needs.
This gargantuan task is accomplished when dedicated teachers and principals work collaboratively to develop their understandings of content and instruction, embrace the whole child, and build parent and community partnerships.