Response to Intervention (RTI)

A very popular method of structural intervention called Response to Intervention (RTI) was introduced by the United States Department of Education in 2009.  According to their website, their goal is “to enhance student achievement and to reduce the prevalence of reading and math disabilities.” Their ideas are great, but they are only giving a name to a practice that good teachers have been doing for centuries.

RTI’s intervention process is three-tiered.  On the first tier, students of all ability levels receive instruction form their instructor.  Those who do not comprehend the lesson are then provided with a more intense, small group instructional setting, which constitutes for the second tier.  If students are still unable to grasp the lesson, they are then placed into the third tier of instruction- one-on-one, highly intensified lessons by the instructor.

Is this not what Jesus did in Matthew 13: 36-43?  He “dismissed the crowd”  (tier 1) then spoke to His disciples who told Him, “Explain to us the parable” (tier 2).  The only tier that is missing is tier 3, which we receive every time we enter into prayer with Him.

Just as our relationship with God is solidified on the tier 3 level, so will our relationships with our students be unified in the same way.  Although a general dynamic will develop between you and your students as a whole, spend as much time as you can with them individually, especially with those who struggle and those who ask for your help.  These are the ones God has sent you to intervene for. 

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