Summer is a great time to reflect and become rejuvenated to start a new school year. We hope you all had an amazing summer. No doubt, you are excited to meet your students and reconnect with colleagues! This is the time of year when the proverbial slate is wiped clean with the hopes for another amazing year. It is also when individuals will be setting goals for the upcoming school year. Most people have New Year’s Resolutions… We have School Year Resolutions.
It is essential that our curricular, instructional and environmental goals and initiatives are clearly developed through the basic question of: Is it good for children?
We truly believe that children will not learn from people they do not like or if they do not feel safe within their learning environment. It is important to make connections that will last a school year. Watch this inspirational TED Talk by Rita F. Pierson, which showcases the importance of making connections.
- Relationships - The Key to Learning
- "Kids don't learn from people they don't like!"
- "You say it long enough it starts to be a part of you."
- "We teach anyway... because that is what we do! We are educators... We are born to make a difference!"
- "Every kid needs a champion!"
We are fortunate to work with a faculty that views positive relationships as the most important consideration within their classrooms, creating environments where students want to spend their days. This happens because we have an amazing staff who intentionally builds relationships and genuinely loves educating children. It also happens because we sustain conversations regarding the importance of relationships throughout our culture and within any new initiative that we establish.
Without relationships you cannot get to content. Creating a safe environment where students feel loved and important is essential to a successful school year: Some simple ways to start the school year at any level:
· Setting expectations together: Allow students to assume some of the responsibility of creating classroom expectations, promoting respectful, responsible, safe, and kind behaviors.
· Teaching procedures: Daily teaching of classroom expectations, rather than relying on rules, will enhance any learning culture.
· Being consistent: Students will respond to a teacher that is consistent in daily practice.
· Communicating in positive terms and be intentional about your teacher tone: “I listen to one person at a time… thanks – works much better than, BE QUIET!” Love and Logic Teacher-ism.
· Remaining competent and calm in challenging moments: Modeling that you are in control of your emotions will showcase to students the appropriate response when handling their own emotions.
· Teaching differentiation: Let students know that everyone gets what they need. Students need to feel comfortable knowing that everyone has different needs and it is OK.
· Enjoying teaching with enthusiasm: Modeling that you love what you do is contagious and students will feel comfort in knowing their teacher loves to learn.
· Making and responding to mistakes: Students need to understand that they can be risk takers within the learning process and mistakes are part of learning.
· Focusing on teacher proximity: Be present during independent work, supporting students and noticing their efforts throughout the day. It is even ok to stop by the cafeteria, be in the halls, go to a game, or even shoot a basket or two during recess. Positive proximity doesn't need to stop in the classroom. The extra 2-3 minutes of positive proximity outside your classroom will enhance the community feeling that you are establishing in your classroom.
· Encouraging reflection: When things go wrong, one must encourage reflection rather than scolding for inappropriate behaviors or actions. Consequences might be necessary; however, make sure students understand that it is the behaviors that you do not like, always showing empathy for the child.
As this new year begins, we encourage you to sustain a relationship goal. Going to a workshop on relationship building might be beneficial but setting a goal, which is maintained over time and a focal point to everything you accomplish, will provide results. “You say it long enough it starts to be a part of you” and it will be a part of your culture as well.
“Be a champion” for your students and enjoy a wonderful start to the 2016-17 school year. Please feel free to contact us if you need anything!
Rules provided without relationship result in rebellion.
Consequences given without relationship lead to resentment.
Rewards without relationship feel like bribes.
Love and Logic Teacher-isms