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Saturday, June 03, 2017

It Takes a Team to Teach Well


Old speak of schools brings to mind images of one-teacher-one-classroom, but the truth is that today schools are filled with multiple teachers who work together to serve all children. There are teachers trained in the traditional sense with college education programs. Those teachers include special educators, specialists, teaching assistants, and classroom teachers. Then there are administrators, counselors, coaches, and therapists. After that there's the office staff, custodians, lunch room staff, and recess teachers. In all, our students at one grade level are served by about 30 teachers--people who spend their days serving, coaching, mentoring, guiding, and yes, teaching students.

At the start of the year, we share a chart like the one at the top of the page with all the teachers' names and images--this sends the message to students and families that there are a lot of people working everyday to serve and teach the children. Further the chart helps families and students get to know the names of those that teach and care for the students. Next year, I want to use the chart more explicitly with students to help them learn to say each teacher's name. We will talk about polite greetings and responses including please, thank you, good morning, good afternoon, how are you, and more.

I'll ask students to practice using the names of their many teachers. We'll practice that with greetings and gratitude as those teachers help all of us.

Too often as I've written about before, we don't take the time to politely recognize the helpful and kind people in our midst. When we teach children the importance of using names and polite language we help to build a culture of kind support and care, the kind of community that respects one another and lends itself to happiness and success.