Twelve years of teaching in a brick-and-mortar school has proven to me that building relationships with my students is critical to their learning. Now, in a virtual school, I struggle to build a meaningful student-teacher relationship reaching the same impact in digital environment.
My to-do list takes the form of a sticky-note wall in my home. These post-it notes remind me--every time I pass my kitchen table--of the many tasks I must complete, and never, not ever, do they diminish throughout the whole school year. When two notes come down, another five go up.
Most of us spend part of our day teaching young people how to get along, and be empathetic toward one another. And when we begin to speak out in broader ways, we do it hoping to make a positive impact and bring people together. As a result, we often find ourselves unprepared to be on the receiving end of someone else's harsh, personal criticism.
The end of each school year is the beginning of the next fresh start for all of us. It is our chance to begin anew, to re-write the playbook, and to get it more right next time. In this way, commencement is for teachers too.
Your worth as a baseball player doesn't come from your position; it comes from how you play it. It's true, you can stand out there for 18 innings and put in your time and think the world is unfair. Or you can move. You can back up third or second, you can gauge the batter and you can encourage your teammates. Standing is a choice. Moving is a choice.
With so much importance placed on standardized testing, do we not embed common test taking strategies, brain breaks, and celebrations into our weekly classroom experiences?
Our nation's teachers are the infrastructure of this republic. Like water pipelines, roads, and bridges their purpose is that of the common good. When they do their job, it permits every other aspect of our society to function properly. But this isn't reflected in their level of appreciation
Joe Fatheree's experience producing seven new videos with State Teachers of the Year convinced him that the primary criticisms of the Common Core State Standards are built on faulty assumptions. Instead, teachers he filmed told Fatheree that the standards promote creativity, challenge students to use critical thinking skills, provide teachers with the autonomy to create engaging lessons, prepare students to take their place on the global stage by promoting collaboration, and help ensure students are career- and college-ready.
I would describe our system as a spider web of interdependency, and I believe it will take transformation of almost every thread to rebuild it into a system that our kids not only deserve, but that our economy will need to continue to grow. There is no simple, cheap miracle fix that will bring about transformative change for the education profession and the American education system; the entire web needs to be re-woven.
When it comes to the success of an individual classroom, nothing is more important than the relationship between the teacher and the students. When it comes to the success of an entire school, nothing is more important than the relationship of the adults in the building.