Instruction for All Students: The Workshop and the Book

I spent 4 days in training for Instruction for All Students. It was an awesome workshop with Brenda Kaylor from Just ASK. She did an awesome job of tying in project-based learning, assessment, and Common Core State Standards. If you ever get a chance to attend one of their workshops, I highly recommend them. At the training, we used Instruction for All Students as our primary text.


There were many ideas from this book to have your class thinking outside the box and collaborating with each other through active learning strategies such as Clock Buddies, Graffiti, 3, 2, 1, and Ticket to Leave. It also had excellent ideas for planning Common Core units as well as formative and summative assessments.

Becky Au, Instructional Specialist
East Picacho Elementary School
Las Cruces Public Schools, New Mexico

(Excerpted from a posting on Becky’s blog )

Workshop Reviews

Why Didn’t I Learn This in College?® Workshop Series

This course has helped me out a lot as a new teacher. There were so many concrete strategies presented in dealing with problems, issues and daily routines. I found that everything was very digestible and quite easy to put to practice. Ideas were broken down simply and their application demonstrated. I have used many of these strategies in my classroom and have noticed that things run smoother. I am very grateful to have had this class.

8th Grade Science Teacher
Nock Middle School
Newburyport Public School District, Massachusetts

Why Didn’t I Learn This in College?® Workshop Series

Excellent workshop! Well worth the time, effort, and money OPS used! Tons of new information! I hope you realize what a phenomenal experience this was! I loved getting the practical information in a group setting with you modeling many different teaching strategies along the way! The book’s easy-to-use (and read) format was extremely beneficial because of its headings, bullets, and practical advice!

Elementary Teacher
Omaha Public Schools, Nebraska

Why Didn’t I Learn This in College?® Workshop Series

I am a teacher of children who are moderately cognitively impaired. My group of students has a range of disabilities and learning levels. It has been tough for me to administer lessons in a fun, innovative way that reaches all of my students. Throughout the course of the last two or three months, I have learned a wide variety of strategies that I am able to apply in my classroom that gets all of my students excited about learning. I feel much more confident in my classroom. I am able to challenge my students and motivate them to contribute steady effort to the lesson. I would not have made it through the year without these incredible tips and tools. This has made me a much more productive teacher and I am thankful for everything I have learned.

Elementary Special Education Teacher
Independent Hill School
Prince William County Schools, Virginia

Instruction for All Students Workshop Series

This class has had quite an impact on my teaching. I can no longer envision simply ‘looking for an activity that is close enough.’ My time and that of my students is far too precious. I now compulsively begin with the end in mind when thinking about lessons, units, courses, and the entire scope and sequence. It even spills over to questions about how we should look at the entire K-12 curriculum for public education.

Bryce Hedstrom
Roosevelt High School
Weld County School District RE-5J
Johnstown, Colorado

Instruction for All Students Workshop Series

The standards-based classroom makes learning come alive! It gives the teacher and students practical and useful tools to increase learning. It shows ways to most effectively utilize the time we are given to teach. The ideas are not only research-based but student and teacher tested.

Gail Tatum
5th grade teacher
Smith Elementary School
Corpus Christi ISD
Corpus Christi, Texas

Leading the Learning® Workshop Series

This course not only gave me a foundation for curriculum; it put into perspective the true responsibilities of people in leadership positions. How could I be an Assistant Superintendent and not understand the basis of leadership? The concepts I have been able to read, discuss, and write about during this class have given me the foundations I need to be more than a ‘finance/personnel guy.’ By developing a clear understanding of what it takes to provide a standards-based classroom and system, I can assist the Superintendent by providing more than numbers and procedures.

John Petrin
Assistant Superintendent for Business
Marlborough Public Schools
Marlborough, Massachusetts

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Just ASK Publications Book Reviews

Paula Rutherford’s Books

I have purchased four of Paula’s books. They are excellent tools. I used Leading the Learning and The 21st Century Mentor’s Handbook as a mentor teacher. Several of the strategies and activities from Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? I have used with new teachers and Instruction for All Students was taken from me by a teacher the moment she flipped through the pages. The material is easy to read, nicely organized and easy to understand. It is clear and every strategy and piece of advice is useful. They are the greatest resources one can use.

Gina E. E. Davis
Director of Instruction and Staff Development
Cedar Bridge Academy, Bermuda

Why Didn’t I Learn This in College?

In Georgia we have TAPP (Teacher Alternative Preparation Program). As new teachers are hired, the experienced teachers try to do everything we can to mentor them and help them adjust to their new environment. I have found NO RESOURCE better than the book Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? to aid in the task of preparing the TAPP teachers for the classroom. Mainly because, these teachers didn’t learn about teaching in college or anywhere else prior to their first year.

Your book Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? is full of so much ESSENTIAL information! EVERY new teacher should be given this book to read before their first day on the job! It is more that just what to do in the classroom. It is also full of information about how to interact on a team, in a conference, with the students, with the parents, even some professional wisdom that is specific to a career in education. This book is a MUST HAVE for ALL beginning teachers – especially someone from an alternative teacher preparation program like TAPP. Even though I did major in education in college, I wish I would have been privy to the wisdom and insight found in this book during my first year of teaching. I recommend it to anyone who is beginning a career in education or trying to improve their skills within the first few years of their career as a teacher.

Carly Stanley
6th Grade Science Teacher
Warner Robins, GA

Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? is a great resource for any teacher, particularly a novice teacher. The book is very organized and user friendly. Our district ordered it for every new teacher so they had a hands-on resource that was readily available with clear, concise, organized ideas that were usable in the classroom. The book goes beyond theory and infuses standards as well as best practices in the comprehensive ideas presented in the book. It is one we plan to use throughout the year in our teacher induction program.

Loraine Morazzano, PhD
Director of Staff Development
Grand Prairie I.S.D.
Grand Prairie, TX 75052

As a former middle school team leader and current high school department chair, I am accustomed to working with new and struggling teachers. I picked up Paula Rutherford’s book, Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? to find some helpful survival tips and strategies to share with my future ‘rookies.’ To my surprise, while flipping through the pages, I found myself thinking about my own classroom effectiveness and began taking notes on ideas and strategies that I wanted to try! This book provided me with a plethora of ideas, tips, tools, and activities that I plan to implement in my own classroom this year, and to share with my new and veteran colleagues. This book should be required reading for all teachers.

Kathleen Dodgen
High School Social Studies Teacher
National Board Certified Teacher
Palm Beach County, Florida

Paula Rutherford is truly a guiding light in the field of education for the 21st century. She has remarkably woven instructional strategies, motivation techniques (teacher & student), assessment strategies, Planning strategies, etc. into a wonderful easily to read book that is essential for new teachers and a great skill reminder for all other teachers. Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? is designed as a resource that will help any teacher understand how to effectively implement various educational concepts that is need in every classroom! Furthermore, this book gives any teacher the essential foundation needed to become an exemplary teacher. It is easy to read, illustrated with various techniques and examples, offers proven strategies and activities that will given any teacher new or veteran a clear vision for success in any classroom. This book shows Paula’s gift of educating the minds of all students through different strategies that all teacher can and should be implementing!

Tracy Brown
7th Grade Math Teacher
Orangeburg, South Carolina

Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? is a valuable resource for new teachers in developing best practices in a standards based classroom. This book is clearly organized, concisely written, teacher friendly and rich in effective strategies to promote learning. Paula Rutherford not only gives the ‘what’ and ‘how’ but delves into the ‘why’ teachers should implement these practices. This book will definitely be my main resource for working with new teachers!

Nancy Wesorick
Induction Coach
St. Vrain Valley School District
Longmont, Colorado

These testimonials about Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? echo the sentiments of our new teachers and the administrative team in Greece Central School District about the practicality and usefulness of this resource. We have provided all of our new teachers with this book for two years now and utilize the strategies and tips during our three year new teacher induction program. Many of our veteran teachers have purchased a copy for personal use and as gifts for teacher colleagues or family members in education. Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? is so aligned with the expectations for teaching in a standards-based classroom and helps us when conferencing with new and experienced teaching staff as we work together to help all students be successful.

Ann Mitchell
Director of Professional Development
Greece Central School District
Greece, New York

Why Didn’t I Learn This in College? has been a tremendous tool to share with the first year teachers I mentor in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. It provides teachers with the resources and ideology that enables them to shape their classrooms for learning.

Melinda Culver
PALS Mentor
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
Nashville, Tennessee

Instruction for All Students

I would like you to know that as a college instructor preparing teachers for teaching, Instruction for All Students is the methods book I wish I had written myself. It is a concise, hands-on guide to the best practices for classroom teaching. Thank you for your time and for publishing this incredible resource for teachers and for those who teach teachers.

Tom Sferes, Ed.D.
Instructor in Education
Education Department
University of New England

Paula Rutherford has done it! A masterpiece of teaching and learning! Instruction for All Students should inspire all teachers to become well diverse with strategies, techniques and resources that will definitely increase student achievement. The book is an excellent guide to lesson planning, planning for assessment, active class activities, thinking skills, etc. Furthermore, in today’s educational society where collaborating with others is an essential resource for increasing student achievement, Paula has outlined excellent ideas that surely build purpose-driven teams of educators. In addition, the book is well organized and provides details that will empower all teachers to grow and mature in their educational quest to help students succeed.

Tracy Brown
7th Grade Math Teacher
Orangeburg, South Carolina

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