As a 22-year-old first-year teacher, I was introduced to one of the biggest challenges within our schools. While setting up my classroom, my principal came by to deliver a set of fifth-grade textbooks and an analysis of the starting points for each of the 28 students in my class.

While all of my students were in fifth grade, they were individuals starting at varying places academically.
I worked hard, cared a lot, and spent lots of late nights developing lessons. I tried to learn how to keep the classroom orderly and motivate my students to learn. And I tried to learn all...

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  • About the Author:

    Joel Rose is the founder and chief executive officer of New Classrooms, a national nonprofit on a mission to personalize education by redesigning how a classroom works.