So often, teachers think of the very necessary modifications within the topics of content, process, and/or product are simply guidelines or yet another standard they must meet. They do not realize just how much it will help a student grow, despite it possibly increasing the teacher workload. While other teachers have the right intentions and really do want their students to be expressive and to make learning fun and tailored to each student, sometimes they negate their own expectations with reality.
Differentiation for various student needs is a difficult job and can seem quite daunting at times! There are so many different backgrounds that a class could walk in with. It is up to the teacher to have done her research beforehand into as many social problems, their implications, and various solutions and teaching strategies, before she ever gets a class. Then, she must get to know the individual students, and develop creative ways of tapping into their natural learning patterns and strengths, while making sure nothing else could potentially put a student at a disadvantage.
Sometimes differentiation can be hard and will not come naturally; it can even seem pushed on to a teacher as just another standard to meet. However, like the name suggests, differentiation is different and makes a huge difference in that one child’s life. It is up to the teacher to continue to push forward because she knows the consequences of falling short compared to the benefits one reaps when differentiation is executed well.