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There's the rub....

The ASSIST website has been developed to help beginning teachers, mentors and other educators reach their full potential within the teaching craft. This level of effectiveness can only be achieved by creating a learning community around one's students and reaching outwards from them. We must see each student as a valued member of that community, and they must be helped to feel that stature. Each students adds richness. Their differences in perspectives, learning styles, language, cultural backgrounds and many other factors all must be taken into account, and made into advantages, by the effective teacher.

How can you teach your whole class AND teach the students who most need your help? Often it seems like just too much to pull off. Perhaps it will be helpful to make a distinction between a clinical approach and an instructional approach:

A clinical approach

An instructional approach

Notice that Student X has a need or problem and that Student Y has a need or problem, and so does Student Z. Notice that Students X, Y and Z are not behaving or learning as you expect or hope.
Figure out, or ask an informed colleague, what condition or characteristic might be causing Student X's problems and what condition or characteristic might causing Student Y's problems and what condition or characteristic might causing Student Z's problems. Ask (and thoughtfully analyze) how your practices for teaching the whole class might be affecting students X, Y and Z in particular.
Explore the practices for working with students like X and those for working with students like Y and those for working with students like Z. Explore the class of practices that are good for a class as a whole and particularly good for students like X, Y and Z.
Master a practice that works well for Student X and a practice that works well for Student Y and a practice that works well for Student Z. Choose and master some of those practices and monitor results for students X, Y, and Z.

The suggestion is that you can gain ground by working on instructional practices that are good for your class as a whole and particularly good for the students who most need your help.

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