Sunday, November 13, 2011
How to get students to stick with Latin after takeoff: that's the challenge. Sure, getting the plane ready and celebrating the flying of the banner is so exciting, but then you have to settle in for the flight and achieve the cruising altitude. That's not easy and some students bail out.
What will help students know that there really is a cruising altitude and a destination ahead?
1. Sharing the itinerary in terms they can understand.
2. Letting them hear from people who have made the trip before.
3. Showing them highlights from the journey-pictures, awards, goals achieved.
We need our students to not only cheer the takeoff but enjoy the flight. Let's be good pilots.
(All seat backs in an upright position . . . )
Friday, November 11, 2011
Having connected with parents of 29 students in the last two days, and 44 over the last three conference days, I am overcome with awe for the wonderful people who parent my students! I've met with close to half of the students' parents, which is just amazing.
I'm lucky enough to have parents who want to meet with me and hear about students' strengths, what they can do to accentuate them, and if there are needs to be met, how we can work as a team to achieve their goals.
Some of the parents who are guiding me now:
1. The parent who said: we know that there is a lot of pressure to be one kind of parent and go for one goal, here is our goal . . . . (I can team with these parents to focus on the same goal that they are using at home!)
2. Here is what you really need to know about my child. . . (he/she) has a specific strength (X) but is struggling in class to use that in tasks that are presented. (Now I can capitalize on the skill and help the child use that enormous ability to process more complex tasks).
3. Mr./Ms. Great Teacher is the one that he/she learned best from and is held as an ultimate educator to my child. (I've observed this teacher before to learn, and I can go back for a refresher to see what they do and use the same techniques for success in my classroom! Heard this about multiple teachers, so I have some visits to make!)
4. What you are calling "lack of motivation" I call "lazy", let's talk about what to do. (Now I know the parent's definition and can set a clear path to the activity that we both call motivation and activity!)
5. Thank you for seeing it as creativity and "getting" the student and not seeing it as misbehavior. (Reinforces my belief in observing the child and his/her actions in context).
6. That is not what I see in other situations, why do you think s/he's doing that in this situation? (Makes me reflect upon how I'm eliciting the response, and how to bring about the deeper thinking that I expect from the student).
All the comments have a theme: These parents know their children and know how to communicate to me what's important. Yes, I have a lot of things to address and change in the next few weeks, but how nice to know the target!