4 Lessons Learned From Differentiating Leadership by PJ Caposey

4 Lessons Learned From Differentiating Leadership

Today's guest post is written by PJ Caposey. PJ is the Superintendent of the Meridian School District in Illinois and an ASCD Emerging Leader.

Differentiated instruction has been a hot topic across Education Week and its blogs in recent weeks.

Raise your hand if you've sat through a poorly done professional learning activity that could not end soon enough.

Raise your hand if you have sat through a well-done professional learning activity that did not reach you because you simply had too many other things on your mind.

Raise your hand if you've sat through a well-done professional learning activity that may have made a difference for some teachers, but did not address your grade level, content area, or current professional needs.

I visualize that everyone reading this (metaphorically) has their hand raised at this point. Now imagine having to attend such a professional learning activity for multiple hours every weekday for forty straight weeks. Can you even fathom such a harrowing experience? Unfortunately, this is quite possibly how many of our students feel.

I feel bad for my students because, although I would have had my hand raised for all three scenarios above, it never occurred to me that my students could feel the same way about my (riveting, I am sure) lectures about Ethnographic studies of society. The power, and need, of and for differentiation came to me once I became a building and district leader. Four vital lessons about differentiation I learned as a leader are directly applicable to any educational leader or teacher.

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