Things to consider for this school year

As Teacher Week @ Scholastic comes to a close, NYC Chancellor Carmen Fariña leaves us with some valuable “C” words to consider during this school year.

Content and Conversation: Don’t be afraid to seek help from other teachers. Discussing content and sharing ideas is a key part of creating successful lessons.

Collaboration: New teachers should make time to visit a master teacher’s classroom and observe their classroom management style. Collaborating with senior teachers will provide new ideas and best practices to implement in your classrooms. And senior teachers shouldn’t be afraid to come observe new teachers –teaching is a group effort.

Celebration: Celebrate in your class with a purpose. Think beyond cupcakes and balloons for birthdays. Allowing students to have a homework pass on their birthday shows the class you value them personally (homework most likely won’t get done on their birthday anyway!).

Community: Increasing parent engagement is critical. One size does not fit all. Find out what is important to the parents of your students and broker relationships through that point. Ask parents what they want out of their school, not what the school wants out of them.

Capacity building: Educators should remember they are not alone. Creating “buddy classes” are a great way to partner with other teachers in learning. For example, pairing a fifth grade class with a kindergarten classroom is a great way to create reading role models among peers. The kindergarteners will aspire to be like the fifth grades and the fifth graders will be mentors and models for younger students.

Common sense: Too many things get in the way of learning and education. Ask yourself, “why are we doing this and does it benefit the students?”