I am more than a teacher. I am an activator. I'm tasked with lighting thousands upon thousands of little ‘aha’ moments in little minds each year. Not each spark takes hold, but others explode! Sometimes, I get to see the magic take hold in the most powerful of ways. Part 2 of 2.
Carmen came to me a reading-shy freshman. She was ever so polite, with a smile that melts my heart daily.
She'd forget her glasses. She'd quietly chat with her friend. She'd wait for someone to notice she was lost.
In the past, I would give her a heads up before calling on her and be met with panicked eyes. While another student read aloud, I'd go over to her and softly let her know I'd help her. When she started to shut down, I'd smile and let her know that ladies let people know what they need and move forward. I'd remind her that she was still moving ahead.
I am more than a teacher. I am an activator. I'm tasked with lighting thousands upon thousands of little ‘aha’ moments in little minds each year. Not each spark takes hold, but others explode! Sometimes, I get to see the magic take hold in the most powerful of ways. Part 1 of 2.
Periodically, I stop class for a five-minute life lesson. I teach transferable skills, as many of them as I can, on and off curriculum. As these teachable moments crop up, I seize them. I'm preparing my kiddos for life. I'd be shirking my responsibilities if I didn't teach them the soft skills that subtly support us as we move through the world. My pupils needed to be well read, analytical, adept at critical thinking, and savvy. Most of all, they needed to find their voice. They live in a world that doesn't always tell them their “value.” They are told constantly what they are “worth.”
How One Teacher is Working Her Magic to Help Struggling Students Reclaim Their Education, Part 2 of 2
As is my usual style, my little ideas quickly take on a life of their own and turn into BIG magic!
Since I was already pulling out all the stops for Lham, as described in last week’s blog post, I scoured my roster for others like him. These students were caught up in a political Groundhog Day from which they could not escape. There was a lot of identifying and re-identifying of the problems, without any real plan to remediate the issues.
How One Teacher is Working Her Magic to Help Struggling Students Reclaim Their Education, Part 1 of 2
Things are moving fast these days in this magical universe. It’s been raining pink glitter ever since I published my first blog post. I’ve been moving quickly from dream to idea to plan to action. Recently, I turned my attention to at-risk students on my roster.
Year after year, I struggled with students who claimed to hate reading. They didn’t like to read. They told me so, over and over again. I have a stock response: “You know, every time you say that an English teacher cries.”
Handing out reading assignment packets or calling for volunteers to read aloud was consistently met with gut-wrenching groans. I am an unusually peppy person, but I was deflating. Must I hear this every time? We hadn’t even started the reading yet.
I had to end this cycle of abuse on innocent texts. They weren’t to blame. The curriculum, teachers’ interests, accessibility, and availability were all factors in killing reading for our students. Alas, poor little packets of photocopied words take the bulk of the wrath for students being told over and over again “Reading is FUN!” as they gaze down, bracing themselves for one more double-sided, black-and-white chore.