Forks, Spoons or Knives???

Posted on September 25th, 2013 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Julie Catsum is a fourth year teacher, great at content, loves collaborating with her colleagues and always makes time for her own professional development.  The one thing that is missing is building her skills to meet the needs and talents of her students.  She isn’t sure what next steps to take but can tell other teachers seem to be much better at building rapport with their students.  We shared these tips with her and she saw a dramatic improvement in her student’s engagement in class and performance on assessments.  Taking the time to develop your skills as a teacher is so important to building student rapport.  Some unique skills that may not come naturally…

  • Teaching students how to read.  If you are a teacher in grades 3-12 and you have a non-reader or a below grade-level reader, do you know how to help them with the basics?  (And we don’t mean “Sound it out”)
  • Using creativity in your subject area or grade level?  Creativity goes beyond allowing a student to draw a poster or make a volcano.  Building your skills in creative problem solving, fine arts and performing arts will provide you with the needed platform and resources for reaching creative students.
  • MOOC, I would tell you what it means but then that defeats the purpose.  Google it and let your skills and the skills of your advanced, at-risk, tech savvy, and creative students soar!
  • Culturally relevant information that is at a high interest to your students.  Examples of this are:  Sports, Music, TV, Nail Polish, Skateboarding, Geo caching, and Camping.  Have an understanding of what your student’s interests are in their daily lives.  One great way to do this is to have your students teach you.
  • MATH!!!!  Know how to complete basic algebraic expressions and have a deep understanding for how math works in your content area.
  • Depending on your students have a keen understanding of their socioeconomic needs and strengths?  An example might be if you work in an affluent district understand the importance of networking and the pressure of attending the correct college.  If you work in a high poverty district know how to use a bus, laundry mat, and where the shelters and food pantries are located.  These are just examples, but in the end bump up your skills in the socioeconomic needs and talents of your students.

We know these tips will help, but if there are others you would like to share please do so!

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