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My Vision:

At the beginning of each school year, I distribute a variety of questionnaires to each class ranging from basic general questions (personal information) to questions that require more elaboration such as:

  • What help do you want from me as your teacher?
  • What is important for me to know about you?
  • What do you do in your free time?
  • What do you enjoy about learning "subject Y'?
  • What do you dislike about "subject Y'?

The more specific the questions are, the more individual responses you are likely to receive. And this will give you a more authentic picture of the student. The more authentic picture a teacher has, the better the chances are to establish a better relationship with the student.

My Views for Students:
Different kids have different learning styles. It might be in your best interest to know how students learn and what style fits them the best. Again, this information will serve you in helping you plan your lessons. Once you have a general picture, you can begin to plan in light of this new information.

Collecting Feedback:
I asked my students what makes a good lesson, student, and/or teacher. Prepare their answers on a feedback form and give it to them to fill out. They will feel proud knowing that it was THEIR contribution and their accomplishment. You are sending out a message of care. The students feel good too about themselves. Everybody wins!

Final Words:
School counselors and psychologists are valuable in the wealth of information and tips they can provide about individual students. It is important however to find your own individual approach and what works for you, as you slowly learn the importance and how to's on how to make a difference in each child's life.

A teacher is also a manager. Whether you are a new or seasoned teacher, you are expected to hold a class of thirty five students from the minute you close the door to the minute you exit. So what is the secret behind classroom management?

The key is to decide in advance how you want your students to behave in your lessons and make these expectations crystal clear to your students. Teach students the rules and procedures as deliberately and thoroughly as you would teach academic content. Be explicit about desirable behavior. Describe your rules as completely as you can and install your procedures more systematically.

Consistently enforce your rules. During the first week of school and beyond, spend as much time on management issues as you do on academic content.

Remember the two R’s: Review and reinforce these management issues. Inform the students of penalties and what they will be used for. Make sure your students know when, why, and under what circumstances they will be administered.

An effective teacher (as manager) has a proactive approach to managing the classroom. By proactive I mean the plan a teacher has on that important first day of school. Proactive managers greet students at the door, introduce students to each other, have easy review materials for them to work on, and teach the class appropriate procedures for work.

Keep your tasks monitored in a large group setting so that students don’t have a chance to be off-task.

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