I just read this blog post by Bruce (yes, it's just Bruce) with some phenomenal quotes about teaching and learning, like this quote from Charles Handy:
'Why don't we teach out children in school what they are? We should say to them, 'You are unique... you have the capacity for anything. You are a marvel.''
The phrase I use: Teach the student not the curriculum.
Personalized Learning is something I have been researching since I began Tweeting last spring. In the last couple of months, the conversations about Personalized Learning have really exploded (as has my livebinder on the subject)
Students who go through the system ultimately to be labelled "at-risk" (of failure? of dropping out? of not fitting the mold?) often come to us already beaten down by the circumstances of life. If we fail to recognize them as unique individuals with their own passions and learning needs, we doom them to be square pegs who eventually give up trying to fit the small round hole standardized education expects them to fit.
My challenge to you: Find the unique in each one of your students. Help them to recognize the ways in which they are unique, and the unique contributions they can make to your class.
Let me know how it goes!