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Win the Right to be Heard

Posted by Theresa Hernandez on 9/7/2021 8:00:00 AM

Connecting to students is one of the most important things you can do as a literacy educator (teacher, paraprofessional, coach, administrator, etc). The beginning of the year is an opportunity to create a community of learners that wont come around again until next year. So, it is important that you win the right to be heard from students early on. 

Building effective student-educator relationships can be tricky. However, there are three things you can do now to produce lasting results.

Here are more tips from ASCD. Try a few out and the come back and let us know how they worked with students. 

Table with ideas to connect with kids

Lit Tip #2: Create a safe learning environment for each student by being inclusive and creating effective student-educator relationships

  • First, set up a welcoming environment that is inclusive. A welcoming environment allows students to feel safe to learn and take academic risks.
  • Next, teach routines and procedures. How do students enter the room? What do they do in the first 5 minutes? What is the flow of the class (beginning, middle, and end)? All repetitive tasks should have a procedure that is routine. Routines and procedures ensure maximum learning time by eradicating guess work, off task behavior and major distractions.
  • Lastly, think about how to use technology strategically in the classroom. When it comes to technology students are digital natives who have been using devices before they learned to walk, however it is our responsibility as educators to teach students how to use technology for learning, connecting with course content, displaying their knowledge, and communicating effectively with others. Choose technology and platforms with your content standards in mind. How will students use technology to learn, create artifacts of their learning, and provide feedback to their peers? 
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What's in Your Cup?

Posted by Theresa Hernandez on 8/31/2021 8:00:00 AM

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! I'm so excited to begin this school year with all of you. With so much going on in the world today, I'm so thankful you decided to stop by.  

I don't know about you, but I look forward to a nice, warm cup of coffee every day. My morning coffee is like a warm hug in the brisk morning that delights my soul. This moment of joy provides the spark I need to start the day off on the right foot. So, what happens when life is hectic, and I am not filled with cheer from my morning hug? You guessed it! My day is anything but awesome. 

Some of us are experiencing this right now. The school year just began and it's already off to a rocky start. We hoped this year would be better than last year, and 'normal' classroom life would return with our students. Can I just say it is ok to grieve the loss of what we knew 'school' to be? It is ok not to be enthusiastic about masks, mandates, and minute-to-minute changes. 

The critical piece is how we respond to what is happening around us, which depends on what's in our cups. How are you preparing for the day? Do you get to work on empty and have a less-than-awesome day? We pour out what we take in, and our students and colleagues respond accordingly. If we want this year to be amazing, we need to intentionally prepare for it each day by taking in something that rejuvenates us. Some like exercise, others prefer meditation, and there's those of us who look forward to a warm cup of coffee. Whatever it is, remember to stop, take a deep breath, and begin your day with something you look forward to.  

Lit. Tip #1: Self-care is the first step to an engaging and welcoming classroom. 

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Tuesdays with Terre Blog - Literacy Tips for Teachers

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