Thursday, November 21, 2019

What can you do for your students?

It's easy to perseverate about what we can't do for our students. Limitations abound when it comes to teaching well, but for the near future, I want to focus on what I can do for my students, and then further focus on doing that work well.

I can greet my students every morning with a thoughtful hello and helpful comments and coaching The morning greeting has been a very helpful routine this year as I get a first-hand view of how my students are starting their day and I have the chance to begin the day with saying their name, hearing their questions, and supporting a good start.

I can plan good lessons and support students' learning. The time spent preparing good lessons matters.

I can work with my colleagues to plan field studies, expert visitors, and special events. This work builds community and makes learning enjoyable and meaningful.

I can help students to lead their own learning by fostering lots of reflection, leadership opportunities, student-led conferences, meetings, and showcase portfolios. This is a positive way to put children in the driver's seat of their education.

I can carefully review and respond to student learning by personally reviewing student efforts, meeting with students for learning conferences, responding to questions online and in real time, analyzing student data, observing their learning strengths and needs, and making time for positive personal attention.

I can be positive and try to be helpful in the face of the bigger challenges that exist in school. When bigger problems arise at school, I need to do what I can to help and then reach out to the learning team for support. Some school problems are greater than what one person can handle or solve--some school issues require investigation and a team approach. It's best not to be overwhelmed or negative in the face of these issues, but instead to recognize the issues' challenge and work with the greater team to make a positive difference.

I can continue to read, research, learn and advocate in order to enrich what I can do with and for students.

I can create and maintain a welcoming learning environment that has the tools and spaces that lead to meaningful, positive learning, community, and collaboration. 

No teacher is super human, but every teacher can bring positive capacity to the job. Rather than focusing on the deficits in the next few weeks, I'll choose to focus on what I can do. Onward.