I’m not going to lie to you. Differentiated instruction scares the heck out of me. I mean honestly! We have to write lesson plans, but not just to teach our content, but also to teach life skills, and cross-content info, and we need to get them to pass the ACT and the SAT, and we have to worry about what going on in the student’s home lives, and how do we connect with them, and does our lesson have diversity, and does our lesson plan have multiple options in case a student is falling behind or a students needs extra enrichment, not to mention school stuff such as worrying about the bell schedule, or students being late, and students in on-campus-suspension., and etc., and etc. We have so many factors that play into how we plan out lesson, and that is just day one. But as any passionate teacher will say, we are doing for the kids. I bring all this up because I was reading Meier and stumbled across the phrase “intellectual toughness”. Meier was explaining how that even though these students are the least privileged, we have to have high expectations. I believe the most important thing we can do for our students is expect a lot of them, and make sure they know that we expect a lot of them. The power of belief is incredible. Imagine the amount of learning that will happen in a classroom if students believed they could do it. Believe in your students! Expect them to be amazing, because if you expect it and they believe it, the world might be surprised.