Be Still and Listen

Robyn Jackson once said, “When teachers help too much, they reinforce the idea that it’s about getting it right and not about the struggle for learning.”

I will be the first to admit, as a 22 year veteran teacher, I still struggle with letting go so the kids can “struggle”.   However, when I/we do let go, the results are amazing. Think about one tweak you can make to your instruction that allows for more student led discourse.

Food for Thought:

Increased opportunities for students to share thinking and/or explain thinking

Celebrate successes as a class

Let students “work through” the struggles

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Let the Light In

Leonard Cohen once said, “There’s a crack in everything – that’s how the lights get in.”

As the First Marking period is nearing an end for many of us, I stop to think and ask myself what opportunities have I provided for students to let their light shine. For some students, this might mean setting them up for success.

Food for Thought:

Differentiated Instruction for ALL students

Celebrate every success

Set achievable goals with students

Clear up misinterpretations in the moment

Eliphas Levi once said, “A good teacher must be able to put himself in the place of those who find learning hard.”

As the first six weeks of school comes to an end and one round of assessments under our belts, it is time to stop and think about what we are doing to meet the needs of ALL students, especially those who are clearly struggling. What plans are set in place for these students to succeed?

Food for Thought:

Targeted and Differentiated Instruction to address immediate gaps

Frequent communication with parents and families regarding progress

Accountability for every student

Reflect and Rejuvinate

Dear Colleagues,

I wish you all a restful summer break. Reflect on your Best Practices and think about sharing some of them with your colleagues.

Take time for yourselves to refresh and rejuvenate. Our “kids” will look forward to meeting us for the new year.   What are you planning for them to establish a positive and warm environment?

Food for Thought:

  • Clearly established rules and expectations
  • Reinforce positive behaviors at the onset
  • Get parents involved

Winding Down

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the final weeks of another school year, take time to reflect. Think about the Top 10 and Low 10. Are you sending them with tools to succeed in the next grade?

Food for Thought:

  • Reflect on Strengths and Challenges
  • Reflect on current interventions
  • Think about next steps – what can you share with new teacher that will make this child successful

Windows and Mirrors

Sydney J. Harris once said, “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”

Think about each and every opportunity you have provided for your students to “shine”. Think about different ways to recognize students each day.

Food for Thought:

  • Reinforce positive behaviors
  • Provide incentives for most improved students weekly and/or quarterly
  • Accentuate the positives with parents and/or families on a regular basis

Invite parents in for a “showcase

Creative Expression and Knowledge

Albert Einstein once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

Think about the opportunities you provide for students to demonstrate their creative expression and/or knowledge.

Food for Thought:

  • Exit Tickets
  • Daily Reflection at the end of each lesson
  • Frequent check-ins during a lesson
  • Increased opportunities for peer-to-peer discourse activities
  • Use of hands-on materials as much as possible