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Essential Element

Inclusive and Responsive Practices

Transform district culture to create learning environments where every student is seen, heard, valued, and given the foundation they need to succeed.

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Supporting Educators to Improve Teaching and Learning for All Students

Integrating inclusive and responsive practices into daily instruction is essential for all students to thrive. When educators value the uniqueness each student possesses and can create a sense of belonging in their classrooms, students are given a pathway to achieve academic excellence. Equip teachers and leaders with comprehensive learning opportunities focused on the specific needs of your district and individual buildings to create inclusive and responsive spaces.

Essential Focus Areas for Inclusive and Responsive Practices

Every student deserves to learn in an environment that cultivates a sense of belonging, honors students for their unique cultural background, and supports social and emotional development. Building a professional learning program from distinct domains helps districts focus on supporting a diverse range of student needs. The first step to building inclusive and responsive classrooms is exploring the focus areas that are key for providing teachers with the resources they need to respond to all learners.

Social-Emotional Learning

Prepare students with the self-awareness, relational, and decision-making skills needed to succeed both in school and in life.

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Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning

Develop learning communities that honor diverse student backgrounds and experiences.

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Trauma-Informed Practices

Understand the physiological, social, emotional, and academic impacts of trauma and adversity on students.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Create inclusive educational ecosystems by examining structures, systems, and beliefs informed by race and identity.

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English Learners

Support English Learners so they can meet, unlock, and harness their full potential.

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Students with Disabilities

Use Universal Design for Learning to help students with disabilities learn, grow, and thrive.

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Social-Emotional Learning with Kikori

Utilize the Kikori platform to develop social and emotional intelligence in both students and teachers to build a student-centered classroom learning community.

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Comprehensive Professional Learning Plans for Educators at All Levels

Transforming district culture is a significant change that can’t happen with the traditional one-off PD day. Begin a multi-year professional learning program that’s designed to provide both teachers and leaders with skills they need to meet the needs of all students. Together, we align your personalized learning program to your district’s strategic goals to deliver meaningful outcomes. Each plan has distinct phases of learning that provide immersive development experiences layered throughout the school year.

Work Towards Meaningful Outcomes for Teachers and Students

All professional learning should lead to specific and impactful shifts in practice for leaders, teachers, and students. Every learning experience is tied to an outcome that can be observed and measured with data to support sustained inclusive and responsive changes throughout the district. 

Teachers will work towards outcomes to create classrooms that feature diverse and inclusive lessons and a learning environment that provides paths to success for different learning types. Through the use of purposeful supports and scaffolds, all students will have equitable access to the learning environment, tasks, and content.

Both teachers and leaders will also work towards district-wide outcomes to create schools that give educators more opportunities to creatively plan with colleagues, access inclusive resources, and change school culture to celebrate student differences.

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The Pillars of Inclusive and Responsive Practices in Professional Learning

All learning experiences should be designed to ultimately create meaningful outcomes for leaders, teachers, and students. Whether it’s a Coaching session, Virtual Workshop, or an online strategy, our team of Learning Designers create experiences for educators that are guided by these core beliefs:


Centering equity in education ensures that all students can be successful, celebrated, and treated fairly. 

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Cultural Competence

Purposefully integrating content from a variety of cultures and groups offers students multiple perspectives, narratives, and histories to be critically examined and discussed.

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Recognizing and adjusting our personal mindsets helps begin the work of restructuring systems to be more equitable.

Meeting the Needs of All Learners: The Master Teacher Project

From 2019-2020, BetterLesson worked with 21 educators in the Kansas City area as part of a partnership with the Kauffman Foundation. The primary goal of the partnership was to publish a robust collection of culturally responsive lessons, instructional strategies, classroom videos and resources that were classroom-ready and designed to bridge the gap between the theory of inclusive and responsive practices and their implementation in the classroom. With the help of a diverse group of teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators, the Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Master Teacher Project came to life.

By the end of the project, the teachers created over 100 culturally responsive teaching and learning strategies that were freely available to educators around the world. The teachers involved in the project continued their work in a number of ways, including creating new diverse curriculum for their districts, leading book studies, engaging in education fellowships, and providing support to colleagues.

Start Using the Resources

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Begin Building a PD Plan to Transform District Culture

Support both teachers and leaders with professional learning that gives them the tools they need to make meaningful changes for all students.

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Additional Resources for Supporting Flexible Instructional Models

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Inclusivity Starts with You: Helping Your Teachers Reach Students with Disabilities

Learn strategies district leaders can employ to ensure classroom and school cultures are inclusive, responsive, and supportive spaces for students with disabilities.

Explore Strategies

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BetterLesson Live | Cultivate a Growth Mindset by Developing Executive Functioning Skills in Students

Watch an application-packed session designed to help you understand what executive functioning skills are and why they matter so much in student learning.

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Closing Learning Gaps Through Trauma-Informed Teaching

Explore how to keep a student-centered focus on the needs of all learners and use trauma-informed teaching strategies to accelerate growth.

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The Learning Curve

Accelerate growth in your schools and stay ahead of the curve.