Sunday, March 26, 2017

Motivating Students 3/27/17

One issue we all deal with as teachers is working with the unmotivated student. Not only is it frustrating for you as the teacher, it has to be miserable for the student as well. Jennifer Gonzalez wrote an excellent blog post about this topic and did research to try to find what the most current studies say about what motivates students. This is what she found:

  1. Students are more motivated academically when they have a positive relationship with their teacher.
  2. Choice is a powerful motivator in most educational contexts.
  3. For complex tasks that require creativity and persistence, extrinsic rewards and consequences actually hamper motivation.
  4. To stay motivated to persist at any task, students must believe they can improve in that task.
  5. Students are motivated to learn things that have relevance to their lives.

Please take a moment to read her honest personal reflections on each of these points along with several suggestions on how we can do better. Making a small adjustment can make all the difference for one of your scholars.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

What legacy will you leave? Teacher-Student Relationships 3/20/17

As we come back from Spring Break rested and revived, take a few moments to reconnect with your students. Remember according to John Hattie, teacher-student relationships have a .72 effect size. It's all about relationships. One of my all time favorite TedTalks is "Every Kid Needs a Champion" by Rita Pierson. I am thankful for those teachers that took time to see something in me that I did not even see in myself!

Take a quick look at this Viemo video to hear from students. "Kids have an inside perspective" that we need to tap into so we can help them reach their full potential. You make a difference everyday!!! What legacy will you leave?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Tired Teachers/Positive Educators 3/6/17

Recently I saw a Tweet that caught my interest because of the title: Letter to a Tired Teacher. The months March and April are definitely that time of year when teachers can relate to this!

  • You are kind to students when you see them... because you realize that may be the only kindness they experience all day.
  • You teach... and then you reteach... and sometimes tutor individually... because you realize not everyone gets it the first time (or even the second time).
  • You strive to be the kind of teacher that you would want your own kids to have.
  • You learn new ideas from your colleagues... and sometimes from the internet... because you are committed to being a better teacher tomorrow than you were today.
  • You try to connect with students who don't seem reachable... because you realize you may be their only lifeline.
  • You provide encouragement and support to your colleagues when they're down.
  • You have patience with the students who may be disruptive and annoying... because you know that those students still need you.
  • You work to create a positive classroom environment... because you know that is the best kind of environment in which to learn.

In Danny Steele's letter he wrote, he closes it with these words- You're tired ... but you push on. And that makes you heroic. This resonates with my heart because you are an AMAZING staff who work tirelessly and creatively to provide something NEW and DIFFERENT for our scholars. I am proud of you and so excited for YOU to SHOWCASE your innovative work this next week for our parents! You can never be appreciated enough and I totally agree that YOU ARE HEROIC!!!