When you think back to the first day of any new school year, it’s pretty easy to paint a picture of what it looked like. Excited students wander the halls with new backpacks, friends reunite, and teachers introduce themselves to whole classrooms full of new students. The first day is generally dedicated to getting to know one another and going over procedures. A little chaotic, but everything is also new and fresh. Moods are elevated and students are excited and motivated to learn.
Teachers recognize that assessments are a critical part of identifying baseline skills and progress over time. In fact, assessments are an important part of the entire learning process. Without them, educators are simply providing new information to students without having a clear understanding of when, how, or if that new information is actually being retained.
From the moment we wake up, we are presented with choices. What should I wear? Will I have toast, yogurt, or eggs for breakfast? Should I have all three? Will I have one cup of coffee, or two? Which route will I take to get to work? While at times overwhelming, making choices adds excitement to our daily lives and gives us a sense of control and agency. Adults aren’t the only ones who benefit from having options available to them. Oftentimes, teachers make most of the decisions on the day-to-day activities in a classroom; however, giving students choices within these activities helps both to increase engagement and empower them to take ownership over their learning. By allowing multiple ways to reach one learning objective, teachers can show students that they recognize different learning styles and that there is more than one way to demonstrate understanding of a concept.
By the time a student graduates from high school in the United States, they’ve had nearly 50 different teachers at school. That’s an impressive number of professionals working incredibly hard to make sure that each and every child receives the quality education that they deserve.
From elementary classroom teachers to middle and high school core and elective teachers, these highly qualified educators are shaping the lives of the country’s youngest citizens in innumerable ways.
Educators have long been under immense stress. Many of us have heard the claim that half of new teachers quit within their first five years on the job. New data suggests that about 17% of new teachers quit within this time frame, but this is concerning nonetheless.
There’s no debating it: when teachers burn out, everyone suffers. Before you can show up for your students, you have to show up for yourself first.
In today’s very technology-driven world, typing may be one of the most underrated skills out there. After all, there are documents, spreadsheets, slide shows, forms, videos, and websites to create too. And these projects may seem more exciting to students in your class because when they’re done creating them, they have something creative and tangible to show off.
In a world where the majority of communication happens online, teachers are finding they are now responsible for guiding their students in becoming informed and respectful digital citizens. Starting as young as kindergarten, children are interacting with others in digital communities on a regular basis. As students spend more time online, the term “digital citizenship” is becoming more widely used.
Positive, open communication with parents can make or break the school year for both teachers and the students they serve. Whether you teach preschool, seniors, or anywhere in between, it’s important to recognize that parents are just as invested in your students’ academic successes as you are. Once you create a solid partnership with them, you’ll see the positive net impact it has on your entire classroom.
As many of us are back in the classroom for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shook our world, we have so much to look forward to! New students, familiar faces, and the opportunity to do what we love.
As with any new school year, we will welcome parents into our room for the annual back-to-school night. Although this is a tradition, this year’s back-to-school night feels more important than ever. Surely, parents will have questions and concerns related to COVID-19 precautions, classroom protocol, and what to do in the event that we switch back to online learning.
Labor Day 2021 is just around the corner, and teachers around the country will soon be bombarded with the popular question, “Is there school on Labor Day?” Instead of just saying ‘no’ on autopilot, now is the perfect time to take advantage of this excellent learning opportunity in your classroom.