ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The school year may have just ended, but over 250 Albemarle County Public School teachers have chosen to take the next step to becoming better teachers at the Curriculum Assessment and Instruction Institute.

"I always tell my students, it's about lifelong learning. Whether it's behavioral, because sometimes I’ve got to fix my behavior, and sometimes it's just to know how to better serve them. So, if I’m going to be a lifelong learner and encourage my students to do it, I've got to practice it,” said Alexander Groff, a social studies and civics teacher at Walton Middle School.

The theme of the institute is differentiation, which is meeting student needs by building relationships.

Kristina Doubet, an education consultant and professor, said differentiation is so important that she teaches college courses on it.

"They have everything they need to succeed in a classroom. From an emotional level, and also a belonging level, a social level - and that sets them up to be emotionally successful,” she said.

Groff said he's going to combine ideas he learned from fellow teachers and presenters and use them in the fall.

"We know those relationships between teacher and teacher, and teacher and student, are vital to have everyone involved in the learning process," he said.

The Curriculum Assessment and Instruction Institute goes until Thursday.