Teaching Fellow Differentiation
Apart from providing quality and high-achieving academics to our students, the Alzar School lends a unique opportunity for young instructors to learn hands-on about becoming an education professional. Each semester we invite up to six Teaching Fellows to join our program. Over the course of the semester, they attend six, hour-long classes a week focusing on academic instruction, outdoor technical leadership, and residential life training. From helping running study hall to checking students into their yurts at night, Teaching Fellows are fully immersed in student life. Each Teaching Fellow is also hired based upon their academic strengths and is paired with an Alzar School mentor teacher who shares the same subject interests.
As the semester progresses, Teaching Fellows take on more responsibility in the classroom. They help plan lessons, exercise labs and get to implement and test teaching strategies they have learned. Recently, Teaching Fellows tested out various differentiation techniques in their classes. In education, differentiation is when teachers change the content, process or product that students create, based on their readiness, interest, and/or learning profile. In his two-person pre-calculus class, Jeffrey experimented with flexible grouping and teaching individually and collectively. In Environmental Science, Nadia adapted ecology readings based upon student interest and language levels. Hayley implemented differentiated processes for learning in her Spanish A class through writing, speech, and problem-solving. Finally, in biology, Jack utilized various hooks to introduce topics, like having students hold their breath to launch a discussion about aerobic respiration.
With an average class size of seven, these types of individualization and differentiation are not only possible but highly encouraged and even necessary to provide the quality of education we strive for at the Alzar School. We are so happy to see these young teachers help accommodate the various learning styles of our students. They have new ideas, are not timid to try alternate routes and bring a fresh perspective to academics at the Alzar School.