Thursday, December 24, 2009

Relationships Matter pt. 3: Acting with Conscious

Seeing when students respond to learning, have epiphanies, dive into deeper understanding is an adrenaline rush. If you've ever won a big game or tournament, gotten that first publication, accepted to prestegious organization, or hired some place special, then you know the emotions.
"Yes, yes, yes!!!" Metaphoric pumping of the fists.

There is no better experience than that moment when teaching skills reap fruit...

These experiences most often happen when teacher and student understand each other, which is to say, when we invest in understanding our students to a depth beyond academic skill level. The message: I understand where you come from, and the challenges you face that weigh more heavily on you than anything I assign. Now let me guide you to see the strengths inside you"

There is no better experience than that moment when teaching skills reap fruit--

Except for that same moment when the student makes important learning connections.


Dangerous Minds - Choice

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Relationships matter pt 2: "Listening to Voices"

Each year we are responsible for the learning success of a group of students. Whether they are on your attendance roster, or someone whose facial features is a silent cry for help, our calling as educators draws us to help. Yet this instinctive desire is often buried by the numerous tasks and pressures that compete in loud voices demanding attention.

Sometimes, as we scan students, noting with our instincts needs for support, we need to pause, mute everything else that shout demands, and

listen to the student.

In this video, what does the student struggle to scene one,...two,...the rest of the video...

Think back on a student or students you're recently noticed concerns---a need to listen. Check in with that student, pause, mute external demands, listen...

What do you hear?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Relationships Matter pt. 1 - Layers of a student

One year nears an exit and a new year--on the horizon--waits it's turn. It's a time for midyear reflection during a 2 week bubble that gives educators opportunity to recharge and retool. What will follow in the next couple of blog entries including images and/or videos to capture our thinking on what's best for all learners.

Thank you for your consideration...

New Boy is the winner of Best Narrative Short at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. It's about a boy's first day in a new school, and for the boy, a vastly different place. Consider the students new to your class after school starts, when culture is established. Consider how the boy's life story is a treasure chest that could enrich the lives of the boy, the other students, and the teacher--if you were her.

New Boy

Pause reading. How did the boy or other characters make you feel?

Tell yourself about an epiphany or affirmation you got about the importance of knowing students...

Every student has a back story. It can be the key needed to help them succeed where once they believed only laid failure, achieve where they didn't know there was more to uncover, and learn new talents and interests where they didn't know they had.

Learning about backstory is work that's worthwhile to student learning and liberates educators in uncovering more options for instructional support.