Connect students, teachers, and parents to build your community of learners. A team approach supports learners and helps them thrive. Positive relationships let you enjoy teaching even more.
Connect with Students – Use these strategies to know, engage, and challenge each learner.
- Know Each Learner – Yes, it’s important to know every student’s academic strengths and weaknesses. But it’s equally important to know the person inside. To connect with learners, try the Two-Minute Relationship Builder. It really works!
- Engage Each Learner – Now that you know the students, it’s time to figure out how to engage them. ASCD’s Practices to Engage Learners will get you started. Remember, though, you also need to maintain engagement throughout each lesson. Keep students “with you” with strategies like SLANT, silent signals, and hand signals.
- Challenge Each Learner – Differentiation is the name of the game. To reach and challenge each learner, differentiate content, process, and product.
- Content, especially reading material, should be accessible and challenging to students in your class. Use leveled texts whenever possible.
- Process is how a student gets from Point A to Point B. Providing multiple paths, supports, and/or challenges ensure that each student is engaged and learning.
- Product can be differentiated by type, length, criteria, etc. Everyone’s end product doesn’t have to be the same.
Connect Students – Build a community of learners by teaching students to support one another.
- Use Cooperative Learning – In cooperative learning, students share the work load. Each student takes a role and contributes to the learning process. Kids love splitting up the work. The social nature of the activity keeps them involved.
- Use Collaborative Learning – Two heads really are better than one. Let students work together to complete assignments, solve problems, or create projects. Through collaboration, learners construct deeper understanding.
- Encourage Peer Support – Allow your students to help one another. Peer support can be formal or informal. Kids simply help other kids (with or without disabilities). When you let students ask one another for help, your community of learners grows stronger. Students become vested in one another’s learning. And you have more time to help the students who really need it.
Connect with Other Teachers
- Collaborate – Work with other educators to create curriculum and glean instructional ideas. You’ll grow as an educator and make lifelong friends.
- Scheme – Do something big. Plan an all-school assembly. Join in a national or international educational event. Schedule a simulation. Make your job exciting!
- Support – Offer and receive support when needed. Every teacher has highs and lows. Celebrate, commiserate, sympathize, and share. Colleagues can provide true comfort to one another.
Connect with Teachers Around the Globe
- Discuss on Teaching Forums – If you want to chat about teacher stuff, try an online forum. How can you find one? Just google teaching forums.
- Read & Comment on Blogs – You’re reading a blog right now! Don’t miss the opportunity to have your voice heard. Comment and let others know what you think. Once you’ve found a favorite blogger, you can follow him or her to receive updates as new blogs are posted. (For example, click on the icon with the b and a heart to follow me on Bloglovin.)
- Write Blogs – Consider sharing your own thoughts and ideas by blogging. It’s easy to get started with free blogs like Blogger.
Connect with Parents – Extend your community of learners. Connect students, teachers, and parents. Build parent-teacher relationships to support the learners in your class.
- Communicate – Find a simple way to communicate class information. Newsletters, email groups, and websites work well for many teachers.
- Join Forces – Let parents know that learning is your #1 priority. Notify them when things aren’t going well. Let them know how to help. Notify them when things are going well. Celebrate!
- Share – Ask parents to share in the educational process. Involve them in homework. Encourage them to help in the classroom. Provide access to portfolios, websites, or other polished student work. Invite them to plays and presentations.
Consider student success as a three-legged stool. The first leg is the student. The second leg is the teacher. The third leg is the parent. Three strong legs are needed to support that stool. Connect students, teachers, and parents. You’ll be glad you did.