Is Our Instruction Respectful? – #BLOG365 #IMMOOC Day 48


I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a respectful educator. I don’t mean respectful with our colleagues. I mean with our students. For me, this goes beyond how we speak and act with our students. It is much deeper. Being a respectful teacher also means we are positive, polite, and reflective in how we introduce material, assess, differentiate, and motivate.

Here’s my challenge for educators: how can we make these typical classroom practices more respectful?

  • Giving out 30 problems or questions to assess
  • Challenging higher students with additional work or giving additional work to lower students in the hopes they will improve
  • One size fits all assessments
  • Assessments that are in-authentic
  • Keeping our schedule the same each day
  • Using the same syllabus year after year for different students
  • Homework
  • Using technology to do what paper and pencil can do
  • Every student on the same application doing the same thing
  • Closing our classroom off to our colleagues
  • Teaching in silos
  • Students interacting only within the walls of their classroom
  • Teacher designed assessments
  • Letter grades
  • Tracking
  • Textbook teaching
  • Whole group instruction

I am wondering what your ideas are for shaking up these practices so they are more respectful.


2 thoughts on “Is Our Instruction Respectful? – #BLOG365 #IMMOOC Day 48

  1. Take the first one, Jill. Handing out 30 problems. I personally always liked it when a teacher culled down the number of problems, and then allowed the student to pick a certain number of problems to answer. We could select the ones we felt we had knowledge of, and do a more in-depth assessment of them.

    I know that’s an age-old technique, but I firmly believe that choice and depth enrich students, no matter what the topic.


  2. I think that being respectful, with respect to the above list, requires us to be intentional about how we use these things. For example: whole group instruction where everyone sits and listens to the teacher tell them how to do things for 75 minutes all at the same pace and in a uniform format is not respectful of really anybody because people need to move and think and be able to take things in at their own pace, BUT using whole group instruction to revisit the work students have done in smaller groups and add to and build from their smaller group learning in a way that allows all students to see multiple entry points to a single concept or idea can be very respectful as it honours the thinking of all students and allows for students to learn in many different ways. I think I could find similar examples for most if not all of the above.


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