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How Do You Differentiate Your Instruction?

How Do You Differentiate Your Instruction?

Have you ever been to a teacher interview where this question has been asked: How do you differentiate your instruction? The interviewers want to know how you accommodate different types of learners in your classroom.

It is important the response you give to the job interview question is truthful, relevant to the position, and shows value to the school district. Communicate to the interview panel you understand the importance of differentiating your teaching to meet the needs of all students.

The following could be a possible answer, or it may provide some ideas for you to tailor your response:

My teaching is unique in the sense that while my teaching approach is holistic, it’s inclusive and individualized. It is holistic because I not only share knowledge with my students, but I elicit knowledge from them.

For instance, when I was teaching mathematics, I didn’t only show formulas and methods of solving mathematical problems. I explained to my students the value of understanding numbers and the great things we can use math for, such as the ability to think logically.

For those who have difficulty, I use cooperative learning, peer tutors, and re-teaching techniques. I attend to the individual needs of the students by modifying assignments. For example, when I had a group of gifted children in my class, I regularly gave them special jobs to work on that would stimulate higher level thinking skills and had them present their work to the class.

As no two students learn in the same way or at the same ability level, it is important to differentiate instruction toward different learning modality preferences, different skill levels, as well as different interests.

For certain activities, I plan to group students by interest but may have activities set at various levels of complexity (questioning levels/abstract thinking processes) resulting in different products that employ students’ preferred learning modality (auditory/visual/kinesthetic).

Differentiating the content by interest takes work, but pays off. The lesson is being differentiated by readiness (complexity of thinking skills required) and student learning modality preferences are differentiating the product. This multiple differentiation has the added advantage of making presentations much more enjoyable than they would be if all groups did everything in the same way and each presentation was simply a repetition of the former one.

As well, during group discussions, I will adjust the questions I ask the specific student I am addressing. For instance, I will direct higher order questions to students who are at that level and adjust questions accordingly for students with greater needs. I will employ flexible grouping, peer teaching, reading buddies, and learning centers as methods to effectively differentiate instruction.

Discover 152 teacher specific interview questions and detailed potential answers to prepare you for your next education interview. A+ Teachers’ Interview Edge (2nd Edition)

Please comment below on how you do or will differentiate your teaching. Provide a couple of examples.