Connect with students: Empower learners
Take the time to know the student. They need to learn to understand; so do we. Teens have a completely different culture than adults. Adults need to listen to learn what students' lives are all about. The music they like, their living situation, their employment out of school - all these factors come into play in connecting with students.
Eric Hoffer says, "Kids don't care what you know unless they know that you care." Recognizing the important contributions of his/her own people helps teens to feel like they can contribute too. When students are empowered and think teachers believe in them, they develop an internal "permission" to invest energy into the learning process. That is the key to learning and that's also where character building begins - when the student sits up straighter, begins to take an interest in his own academic success, and sees his or her potential as a contributor.
Parents and teachers can't close this gap alone. Respected and empowered students will.
Created on 09/22/04 by Helen Etnier of Deephaven, MN
Glad to know teaching is just not another "job" to go to every day. Teachers DO get involved with each special student. Thank Heaven!
Created on 01/12/07 by Marlyn Roessel of Mound, MN
Absolutely true. We know from research that the adolescent brain does not think like an adult brain. We must realize this and target teaching practices to accomodate this time of human development. We might start by not treating middle school students like high school students. Changing the schedule would be a great way to make an initial difference.
Created on 01/19/05 by Belinda Laumbach of Las Vegas, NM
This is absolutely key to the success of learners. Research on secondary literacy shows that it is very important to recognize "how students see themselves as learners." They need to build confidence and take risks in the classroom. They can only do that when they feel they have a teacher they can trust and someone who cares about their future. This is especially true in urban districts!
Created on 10/08/04 by Kristina Robertson of Mpls., MN
Created on 10/01/04 by Victoria Ford of St. Paul, MN