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

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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

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

Motivation

Jim Rohn once said, “If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is an education to turn him around.”

Think about any students you feel might be headed down the wrong road. What educational opportunities are your providing in an effort to educate. What supports are you providing to turn these students around?

Off the Beaten Path

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

As I reflect on both this quote and my own teaching practices, I am reminded of some big adjustments made to my own teaching this year. These changes, though difficult, have added rich peer to peer discourse opportunities for students and compelled me to interact more with students in a positive manner, thus allowing increased opportunities for students to be pushed and excel to new levels.

When is the last time you have truly reflected on your teaching experiences? What is one thing you can do at this mid-year point to step out of your comfort zone and enhance your day to day teaching?

Learning by Example

Malcom Gladwell once said, “We learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction.”

Think about a typical day in your classroom. How many times are you “showing” students how to do something instead of telling them? What opportunities are you providing for them to interact with each other to explain their thinking?

Think about increasing the opportunities for peer-to-peer discourse activities in your classroom. What might that look like? Sound like?