Sometimes we have a great experience that we really can't explain the way we want to. What made it so great? Trying to explain makes it sound less than it was but you just want to explain anyway. Not being one to shy away from a challenge I am going to try to explain regardless!
As you know I teach a Grade 3 class in an IBPYP school with a fantastically diverse group of students.
My ongoing challenge is making sure I connect with each student. I try to build relationships with students that are based on them as a person, this takes time and effort but everything I believe about learning and growth comes back to relationships.
Taking time to ask questions about their new something, being available before school for a conversation or even just a 'Hello, how are you?' has a huge impact on the students and on me. (No statistical data here - just my observations)!
Knowing my students, learning how they think and what works for them empowers me as a teacher, differentiation on a personal level. This is not about 'liking' students it is about 'knowing' them.
Building relationships and trust in the learning environment has growing benefits, supporting students to be risk takers, asking questions and sharing ideas that may or may not connect, providing an avenue for thinking outside the box.
Connection to students and their learning build community, encouraging parent engagement is a challenge. Empowering students to invite parents into the learning space to show, share and talk when they have something to share, not just when we have scheduled meetings really takes collaboration to a new level. The spring board for conversation between a student and their parent and the teacher is unlimited. This takes a level of risk taking from the teacher as well.
As a teacher I have to demonstrate what I encourage students to be and do.
It means accepting that it is a process of learning, we don't have to 'be ready' for parents, we can share at any point through the process. It means having confidence in my students that their passion and connection with their parents will encourage ongoing parent engagement in their child's learning.
Having a growth mindset means that we are open to possibilities and opportunities, that we can fail and learn from the failure, that learning doesn't end it is an ongoing process that challenges us to think and build understanding.
I am empowered by my students everyday, their wonderings and questions, connected or not, come in conversations that happen inside and out of the classroom, my challenge is prioritising my time and thinking so that those conversations happen.
Great conversation happen when you least expect it.
Teaching in an IBPYP school; interests: student agency, technology integration, growth mindset & the continuous cycle of improvement that is the world of education, learning and being!