Sunday, January 4, 2015

A few things you can do to make 2015 great for your students

Commit to trying something new and different each and every week. Remember though, don't just do something new for the sake of doing something new. Figure out new and creative ways to accomplish the learning objectives and goals you've set forth for your students.

Give your students the opportunity to provide you feedback and input both formally and informally on a quarterly basis in regard to the learning they are experiencing in your class. Your students thrive on getting feedback and input as they progress through the learning journey, and you're no different. And since your students see you every single day, their perception and the reality of what's happening tend to be pretty accurate. Don't miss out on this great opportunity.

Have your students on a rotating basis pick a societal issue that is affecting them or is affecting others and spend time as a class making connections to that issue with your course content. Give your class a bigger purpose and meaning by making connections to issues that are affecting your students and people around the world. Think about the next time a student asks, 'why do we have to learn this...?'

Expect your students to do great work because when you have high expectations for your students, they are more likely to achieve those higher levels.

Infuse a healthy dose of empathy and tolerance into your daily regiment of learning. Life isn't always easy and school isn't the only thing happening in a student's life, so keeping this in mind will go a long way in developing rapport and trust with your students.

Approach your classroom as a powerful think tank and a breading ground for new and innovative ideas. The brain power that's available through our students is huge, so we need to be tapping into their thoughts and their beliefs as much as possible.

Approach your job as if you were a 'learning instigator' (thank you @mathphanaticwho uses questions, natural curiosity, and wonder to fuel the purpose and justification of what happens in your classroom. Ya, learning instigator... that's a pretty cool title!

Start 2015 off right by doing the #oneword activity with your students to make it publicly known what everyone will choose as their one word for the year. Also, do this yourself and commit to using this one word as your focal point for the year.

Here's to a great 2015!