Monday, November 27, 2017

How Can I Creatively Use Time, Strategy, and Effort to Develop Student Success?

Most teachers wonder how they might use time, strategy, and effort to develop students' learning success. They return home most nights giving the day a bit of reflection that asks the following questions:

  • What worked today?
  • What didn't work?
  • What are the current, future learning/teaching goals?
  • How can I successfully reach those goals?
To participate in this daily reflection, is to constantly revise and rework the teaching/learning schedule, efforts, exercises, projects, and endeavor to achieve betterment. This is different than sticking to a script no matter what, and instead means that we keep refining the script to teach better and support students more.

Educators who think and reflect like this are rarely seeing the impossible, but instead open to the possible. Educators who do this are clear about their goals, and open to finding ways to achieve those goals. Rather than sticking to tight parameters, these educators push the boundaries and look at teaching from many angles with the only constant being to do what's best for students.

As I consider the question at the top of the page, I am finding that I'm engaging in more deep discussions, one-to-one, and small group endeavor to tease out what helps students succeed. For example today I had the chance to meet one-to-one with a child, and as I did I recognized one significant change I can make to his strategy repertoire to improve his math performance and understanding. It would have been difficult for me to focus on this strategy with the chance to work one-to-one with the student.

So as I consider the many ways that family members and educators work with students, and how students also coach themselves ahead, I am reminded of the following questions:
  • What re the primary goals for the work I am doing?
  • How do I forward and inform my practice so I am meeting those goals?
  • What does my regular practice of reflection and assessment look like, and how do I use that work to revise and refine the learning/teaching I engage in?
  • How do I plan ahead to forward goals, and how do I communicate with and support colleagues as we work together in this endeavor?
As educators, family members, and/or students do we get mired in schedules, strategies, practice, and effort that's less impactful and successful? Do we forget to revisit our endeavor in an effort to revise and refine for greater result? Do we try to do it alone when, in truth, it is in our collaboration that we generally do a better job? There are many questions to ask and much work to do on this teaching/learning path, and if we give these tasks the time deserved, we will be proud of the results gained. Onward.