Goal: Three Things That My Students Will Never Say
“I can’t do this!”
This simple sentence that can block learning must immediately be replaced by:
“I can’t do this yet.”
I have found that the addition of this one simple word alleviates the pressure, anxiety and frustration that often blocks learning. This simple change helps to calm and refocus the leaner.
This one simple sentence that can block learning must immediately be replaced by:
“Can you please come back to me?”
I explain to students that when they say that they “have forgotten” their brains stop working on the problem. If however, they stop actively searching and ask me to come back to them later their brains will keep working on “idea retrieval” unbeknownst to them. This is why they often remember what it is that they wanted to say 10 mins., or 2 hours later … or even in the middle of the night. (P.S. It works every time.)
Okay, so I remind them that no one is going to be interested in everything that we do. They are expected however to plow through whatever it is that is asked of them, so that they can then move on successfully to the next activity.
… Just wanted to share.
Teacher Tips – Things I Try to Keep in Mind
What follows are words, ideas and practices that I try to live by.
I would love to hear from those in my PLN … What do you try to keep in mind as you plan, approach and maneuver through your day? What are some of the things that keep you grounded, and make your experiences rewarding, successful, motivating & authentic?
- Be Authentic & Smile – Teach in a way that speaks to you, that feeds your soul and keeps you motivated … teach “what/how” you love and love what you do! (All the while: Be open to change … there’s no “one way”. Be adventurous, explore alternatives.)
- Be flexible. Be open to change. In your practice: maintain focus, all the while rolling with the curves/punches.
- Never bite off more than you can chew. There are so many amazing ideas out there … It’s easy to get caught up in moments and want to do it all. Be enthusiastic, be eager … but above all be realistic.
- Over plan … have a bag of tricks! You never know what each day will bring … it always pays to be prepared.
- Share your thoughts, ideas & successes — on the flip side address those lessons that didn’t go as planned … Ask for support when necessary … You can’t do it all and your colleagues, your PLN, etc. have so much to offer.
- Show you care. With each day, try you best to show each student that you care about him/her: as an individual.
- Teach to all learning styles: e.g. acknowledge the auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners in the room.
- Use a mixed approach; use a mix of teaching strategies every day. Ensure that students are active, involved & invested.
- Challenge students. Provide choice when possible. Encourage students to take ownership of their learning experiences in the classroom.
- Teach strategies as well as facts/concepts (e.g. how to read for meaning, how to study for and take a test, how to problem solve, how to be an active listener, etc.)
- Keep up with the latest trends: technology, music, movies, fashion, books, etc. Understand your students’ world/environment.
- Embrace technology — need I say more? Love the Smartboard, Wordle, Voicethread, Google Earth, Blogging, Twitter etc.!
- Set goals – As you approach each lesson keep in mind your #1 goal. What is it that you are trying to “teach here”? i.e. a fact, a strategy, an approach, etc.
- Reflect – at the end of every day take a few minutes for you-the-teacher. Ask yourself: What went well today? What would I do differently? What will I keep from this lesson/day/experience?
- Be firm, be kind, be caring and be accepting of your students.
- Be as firm, kind, caring and as accepting of you as you are of your students.
- Be a professional – be human – be you.
- Be a leaner as well a a teacher. We are so lucky. There’s so much to know!