As you prepare to start another school year, or possibly your first, it's important to start it off well. What are some of the key strategies you should focus on first? Before students even enter, take a good look at your classroom and the estimated number of students you will have in it at one time. Are desks crammed together? Are too many students too close together? Can you easily access all students?
One year, I had a small classroom that needed to accommodate sometimes over thirty students. Some were crammed against a wall and I couldn't get near them. I decided to not only use the area of the classroom, but incorporate the depth of the classroom as well and visited some Habitat Restores to find some high top tables for the back corners, a coffee table and floor pillows for my students that preferred to sit on the floor and lean against a wall, and combined tables and grouped desks into groups of three to develop a floor plan that used the perimeters of the room and allowed me to see each student from any point in the room. (See my blog on the overcrowded for more information on creating a safe, inviting environment)
So, number one is creating that safe, accessible, and inviting classroom. Next, begin building healthy relationships immediately. Plan lessons that help you get to know your students well early on. Take interest in their lives, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Most students appreciate that you want to know and care. As they build trust with you, they will more than likely work for you, or at least try pending other circumstances in their lives don't supersede their ability to engage in learning.
Third, help students focus on short-term goals that lead to meeting long-term goals. I highly recommend Dr. Ivy Bonk's course, "The Day Trauma Came to Class" to learn about maladaptive behaviors that mimic learning disabilities. One module, called "The Educator's Bankshot" will help you, as a teacher, help your students heal from the past and progress to the future. You are a catalyst to help your students go from victim to victor. Download our e-course on this website for further techniques on implementing our core CARE strategies in the classroom. Become familiar with rebellious behaviors and strategies you can use to de-escalate certain situations and help students feel safe, calm, and willing to work.
For information on upcoming free webinars, click here. Stay connected for continual support and collaboration with other educators to help you have a successful and less stressful school year. For individual coaching, or a free initial consultation call, click here.
Have an amazing school year! We are here to support and cheer you on the whole way!