Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Building Trust

I have a student in my sixth and seventh period class. He is a senior and has struggled in school. According to his test scores, he is on a second grade level. Since the beginning of the school year I have spent a good amount of time getting to know him. I asked him to take the same test he took last year to assess his reading level, and this time he came out on a sixth grade level. How did he make such a remarkable change??? He actually tried this time on the test. He understood why I wanted him to take the test, and that was enough motivation for him to do well. This reminds me how important it is to build relationships with students in the classroom.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Let the Year Begin!

As another school year begins, I find myself in a new role (for the 3rd year in a row) This year I will be teaching self-contained English and Reading. I am so sad to leave my coaching job, and pray that it will someday come back once all the budget issues in NJ are straightened out, but for now, I am back in the classroom.
I greeted each class with a huge smile and assured them that we are in this together. We are a community of learners, a community that needs each other to grow. Some of my students looked excited, eager to sink their teeth in and begin a new year. Others wanted to pick up right where they left off last year - defiant, withdrawn, unwilling to participate. I am going to take the next couple days to build community and get to know my students, and I pray they all participate and take an active role in their learning this year. How do I motivate these kids? How can I set each one up for success? I can't wait to find out the answers to these questions! Let another school year begin...I am ready for the challenge!