Snow days are the best days for reflection. They are Mother Nature’s way of making us slow down. Outside of shoveling and my flaw of procrastinating around this obvious opportunity to catch up on cleaning the dust bunnies from under my bed, I maximize the time to enjoy family, but also to read blogs and thoughts from my PLN on Twitter.
Today I read a blog post from @benjamingilpin entitled Does Your Teaching Reach Hearts? This post can found Here. I enjoy his posts because he often makes connections to his own life and I find his work authentic. As the title suggests, he writes of connecting to students through ensuring their learning is meaningful. Some of his personal examples of his own memories of learning were positive and some were not. My take away added to my already firm belief that the power we have as educators is extraordinary. We can inspire or defeat with simple actions on a daily basis.
In this time of standardized testing, I challenge you to keep your eye on the prize and focus on meaningful student learning. Achievement scores will follow. Students need you to be prepared with engaging lessons, but at the heart of the matter they need to know you care. Take the time to give effective and consistent daily feedback, send a positive note home, meet children where they are, keep your most difficult student after school to support him or her, and even when you think you can’t, smile. Smiles are contagious and they send the message that people matter and you are glad to see them. True learning resides on a foundation of relationship and trust.
How are you using your enormous responsibility and power as a teacher or administrator to ensure all students are engaged in meaningful learning experiences?