Educating students truly takes a village. From teachers to administrators, board members to maintenance staff, there are a lot of adults involved in making schools productive and safe places for students to learn.
So often the focus is placed upon the relationships between these adults and the students they reach. However, maximizing the value in these staff-to-student interactions requires the adults to form positive bonds amongst themselves as a school faculty.
As administrators, it is important to acknowledge that part of the responsibility that comes with running a productive school for students also includes finding ways to forge encouraging and productive relationships with staff members.
Here are four key ways administrators can foster positive relationships with their teaching staff:
Taking notes is a vital skill in acquiring and retaining knowledge. Unfortunately, note-taking skills are not always explicitly taught in schools, or, when they are, they are often taught in a one-size-fits-all manner. A teacher or tutor can have an immediate positive impact by matching a student to a note-taking style that blends their learning style and organizational preference.
Here are some potential note-taking styles and strategies you can offer to your students. By presenting multiple options, you allow your students to choose an organizational method that works best for their needs.
Any teacher or parent of adolescents will tell you, kids love to argue! With some effort, you can harness this natural inclination in your classroom as a way to improve your students’ content knowledge and literacy abilities.
Two of the targeted initiatives in the Common Core standards are a focus on developing students’ speaking and listening skills and a focus on developing students’ abilities to support claims with evidence. Debating is a way to address both of these concepts in a fun and engaging way.
As a social studies teacher in the Common Core era, my curricular responsibilities have gradually shifted away from historical material and more towards the realm of teaching strategies for reading and creating nonfiction text. More and more, teaching the skills required to engage with social studies content has usurped the push to memorize names, dates, locations, and stories.
When you think about it, this makes sense for our modern world. If you need to know the date of The Battle of Hastings or the architects who planned out the Parthenon, the internet can bring that information to you (often with just the sound of your voice). What the internet can’t as easily do is critically analyze its own information for the reader and weed out disinformation and nonsense.
A large part of education today is focused on helping students to navigate and responsibly digest the limitless plethora of information that is available. One way to do this is to focus on strengthening reading skills through the use of carefully selected current event materials. Putting reputable news sources in front of students is a way to build literacy skills while, at the same time promote the critical reading strategies required to become engaged, informed citizens. After all, how can we expect students to recognize reputable sources if they haven’t seen examples to build their schema from?