1. Andy Johnsen

    Great List! The only thing I might add is: challenge your students academically and don’t accept anything less than their best effort. Part of caring for them is caring that they succeed and giving them all the support they need until they get there.

    • Lane

      I agree. Sometimes ill ask sts if the work was their best effort. Most of the time theyll ask if they can redo the assignment. Just getting an assignment from each student is not sufficient.

  2. Great list, George! Going along with #7, One thing I did last year, which I totally blanked on while face timing yesterday, was take an interest inventory of each class period: favorite shows, games, YouTubers, foods, movies. I then compiled all that info and kept it in my planner to tailor my lessons or presentations to their interests. Thanks for the tips! Always great insight.

  3. Joanie

    Appreciate the list. I would add, “Put students in the driver’s seat by helping them see the roadmap of the learning.” What are the broad and specific learning goals? Co-construct them, and what it looks like to reach them, with your students. Encourage them (and provide structures like mindmapping, frayer models, Lino, pad let) to keep track of their goals and the evidence that they have to show their progress.

  4. Yeah like Joanie said empower students to own their learning and behavior. Teach the life skill set that includes responsibility, organization and engagement.

    Great post George, love the positivity!

  5. Great list! When I get my class list at the beginning of the year, I purposefully choose to ignore comments from previous teachers about certain kids. As a 5th grade teacher, certain kids had quite the reputation coming into my classroom and I think it is so dangerous to label kids in this way. I spend the beginning of the year getting to know the kids and forming my own relationships with them. Later on, if I have questions or concerns I consult with others on strategies to support their learning. Often times from year to year, kids mature and are successful when they are provided with a fresh start each day and each school year. You can’t just say that you believe in them and then gossip about how hard it is to teach them when they are not around. You have to truely believe in them. Kids are very savvy. They know the difference.

  6. Very nice and practical tips to be implemented in classrooms. If it is not possible to play music on daily basis then to make the environment of classroom liven up, use of interesting and relevant concrete teaching resources can be used which leave strong impact on students’ way of concept formation.

  7. John

    Learn their names as quickly as possible. Make sure the pronunciation is correct. Circulate throughout the room as much as possible and get down on their level. Find out what they can and can’t do by sitting/kneeling alongside them so they don’t have to announce to the whole class they have a problem. In time they will just give you a look and you will know they are after help. Laugh with them when it is appropriate, showing them they are valued and you hear what they say and think. I just read recently that a laugh is the shortest bridge between two people and I think it really helps on many levels.

  8. Ryan

    Love the music, we play music every morning while completing the mundane tasks (attendance, lunch, notes…), students get to own the music by choosing artists or playlists. #9 haven’t done it everyday but students ask questions in Google classroom and peers help guide and answer. #10 sums it up… relationship first. All learning is developed through connections and relationships to prior knowledge . Thanks for sharing

    • John Finch

      Please be aware of the implications of playing music in the classroom with respect to Copyright. If it is for entertainment purposes (not directly connected to curriculum) then a license from either SOCAN or Re:Sound are required. Playing music as background music does not meet the Fair Dealing Guidelines. Please consult Copyright Matters 3rd edition (4th edition coming out shortly) available at cmec.ca/copyrightinfo for more information on the Fair Dealing Guidelines

  9. Deb

    Thanks for sharing! I can use some of these in my university classroom. As you’re posting these please think about how to apply them to higher education.

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