Hopes and Dreams

As I begin the first day of school tomorrow, I am beginning to think about Hopes and Dreams for my new class.

I dream that I can create a learning environment in which they will all be successful in their own way. I hope to motivate, inspire, encourage, and celebrate.

What are your hopes and dreams for the new school year?

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A Place Called Home

What are we to do when we encounter difficult families who do not support our efforts? It is of utmost importance to not give up. Remember, if we give up, the kids give up. We must not let this happen.

Think about a difficult situation you encountered with a parent and/or family? What made it difficult? How did you work to resolve the conflict?

We must accept the fact that a child’s family and/or economic situation has more influence than we do. As effective educators we must continue to be the best each and every day. What does your best day and/or encounter with students, parents and families look like?

A Purpose

As teachers, we all realize the importance of assessment. Effective teachers need to check for understanding on a consistent basis. Many of us would agree that giving a test is well intended and serves a purpose.

Unfortunately, this concept has gone too far. The idea of holding both students and teachers accountable for content mastery in a reasonable manner has turned into a landslide of “required” assessments that not only hurt children but take away a meaningful and purposeful education.

As such, we find ourselves trying to maintain a balance between meaningful assessments and a mere requirement. In many ways, we ask ourselves what is the real purpose behind this?

We should always remember that even though test scores are important and provide valuable information, it is the students that count.

Through the years, I have come to realize a few things about assessments:

  • Help students understand that good scores can allow for more opportunities, particularly after high school and/or college
  • Allow time during the year for short, yet consistent, practice opportunities thus alleviating much stress and anxiety during the assessment
  • Correct practice test with your students, not forgetting to call on students to justify their responses

Think about what you can do to help your students perform their very best on these sometimes, very demanding assessments