First off, here's what Boushey and Moser had to say last Saturday on my blog.
"Each student deserves a plan tailored to his or her needs."
Their bold statement made some a bit uncomfortable. One random comment on Pinterest went like this, "Sure. Because that's real life." I can still hear the sarcastic tone. I get it though. Boushey and Moser are setting the bar awfully high, especially considering none of us are working in perfectly ideal situations with perfectly ideal kids and perfectly ideal curriculum. Just because real life doesn't easily lend itself to tailored plans for students doesn't mean I shouldn't strive to move closer to the target if it's what indeed is really best for kids. Maybe today's quote is one way to perfect my aim.
I can now imagine Boushey and Moser are causing additional discomfort with their thoughts on whole-class instruction. Again, I get it. It makes me a bit uncomfortable too, because it confirms the fact that a few parts of my day aren't allowing me to meet needs as efficiently as I could. In a sense, it feels like I'm spraying bullets in those whole class settings, hoping to hit something. I'll definitely miss the ones who know the content with their hands tied behind their back and for sure the ones who are about ten steps behind won't feel a thing.
I believe I'm most effective at hitting the bullseye in a workshop setting. When I gather my kids for writing or reading workshop, the whole-class part is important but takes less than ten minutes. Kids can then spend the majority of time simply practicing at their own level while I'm mostly conferring one-on-one but also in small groups. That system allows me to tailor my instruction and hopefully raise the academic achievement in my room.
I don't think Boushey and Moser are saying to abandon all whole-class teaching. I rather think they're challenging me to consider how more effective I can be at meeting all the needs in my classroom if less instruction is given in that manner. In spite of real life, I say let Boushey and Moser raise the bar. I can't reach it yet, but when has that ever stopped me before?