Powering Personalization


For the next two months, I get the honor to spend time, like serious, dedicated, reflective time, with three groups of teachers as we dive deep into the concepts of personalization and agency. Our goal is to define how these terms are demonstrated in an elementary classroom: What teacher moves are present? What are our learners doing? How does personalization and agency impact their learning? Their sense of self?

One of the teacher hubs is a group of 1st grade teachers that would like to spend more time getting to know learners’ interests and concerns.

  • How can getting to know our learners help with social and behavior interactions?
  • How do we get to know each child’s culture and traditions?
  • How do we apply personal interests into core curriculum?
  • How can knowing our learner’s interests help with connecting with other students, like big buddies on campus?
  • How can we learn more about a student’s outside learning, and bring that passion into the classroom?


What I love about my role is that I am simply the facilitator of their discovery. I find resources to help them explore their ideas, and I guide them through the PDSA cycle of Plan-Do-Study-Act. I’m like the fairy godmother in Cinderella, except that the pumpkin coach I provide is ways to grow in understanding, and discover new approaches/strategies that can be applied in the classroom as part of the pursuit towards the extraordinary school experience.

Below are a few articles I am sharing with the teachers to help provide context around the topic of personalization. I’d love it if you’d share your resources as well, or even . better, ways in which you are providing personalized opportunities for all students to ignite their genius.


This article shows how personalization uses what you know about students (relationships + academics) to build experiences that meet their unique strengths and needs.


This article talks more about the partnership between teacher and parent to create a shared understanding of students, which helps to deeply understand the learner, leading to personalization that is meaningful.


And this article helps build context around personalization, differentiation, and individualization… and the process teachers tend to go through as they head towards a personalized learning environment. It may be helpful to self-identify where you see yourself in the process, and then identify an area for growth/development through the hub plan-do-study-act cycle.


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