A teacher who pays enough attention to make instructions clear is probably also paying close attention to how academic discussions and projects are structured.
I came across this idea and it got me thinking. In working on my edTPA (which is basically a really intricate, nationally scored, work-sample) I have to sit down and really look closely at my lesson plans, my students, their work that resulted from my teaching and reflect on how I could use all of this information to better my practice. As I sit at my laptop, looking over student work and think about those students that didn't do as well as they could have, I wonder what I could have done differently.
Not every student learns the same. This isn't news. We know this. So being intentional with how we deliver instructions is critical. And listening, in the many forms that listening can take, to what your students are telling you. You can glean super valuable information from watching and listening when you are instructing, when students are working in small groups, when they take exit tickets, when they are writing, and when they are (or aren't) participating in full class discussions. Instructions are embedded throughout your lessons. When you are talking about how to understand the parts an opinion piece, you are giving instructions on how they would one day write an opinion piece.
I am sure I will have more to say about this in the future. In fact, I've already got ideas stirring, but these ideas are also causing me to think more deeply about the reflections I need to write for my edTPA. ;)