General Education Info For Teachers
General Education Info For Teachers
Kimberly Oliver (National Teacher of the Year, Broad Acres Elementary School, Maryland) gives expert video advice on: What are some ideas for encouraging more parent involvement?; How can I help parents with few resources encourage their children's education?; What can I do to help students with few educational resources? and more...
What are some ideas for encouraging more parent involvement?
There are many things that teachers can do to encourage parent involvement. First, it takes considering the needs of the parent. Where is the parent at, what does the parent need, and what goal is most important to the teacher or to the school at that time to focus on? At my school we wanted to focus on literacy and one of the events that we did was Books and Supper night. For Books and Supper night, we welcomed families into our classrooms and invited them to check out books from our school library. We then put them into our classrooms in cozy, comfortable environments to model what reading should be like at home. We allowed the parents and the children to read together as families and then provided a community dinner for the parents to be able to interact with their neighbors. When it was finished, we sent home books for the parents to have in their house that they can read and share with their children to continue the learning that was established on this evening.
What can I do to help students with few educational resources?
It's important that students have educational resources in their homes. As teachers, we can help with this effort. We can help by sending some of our classroom materials home on a rotating basis with students, so they have an opportunity to share with their family; with their younger or older brothers and sisters. We can also encourage families to visit the local library in order to check out books and resources that are available there. Also, as teachers, we can write grants for our students so that they can have more materials in their homes which will help them be more successful in the classroom.
What can I do to help non-native English speaking students?
There are many strategies that teachers can use with non-native English speakers, or English learners. Use lots of visuals, pictures, and real materials to help non-native English students understand and grasp the concepts that you're working on. If you're reading a story with students, have students act the story out so that they can have an opportunity to see and understand the story in its entirety. We can also take the time to work on vocabulary to give a definition to vocabulary words that children might come into contact with, but may not recognize.
What are some ideas for addressing students with divergent skills and needs?
It's important that we meet the needs of the divergent students who are in our classrooms. In order to do this we can incorporate many different learning styles into our teaching. We can incorporate bodily kinestetic activities, we can incorporate interactive activities so that students have an opportunity to work. But ultimately it's important that we give diverse students multiple opportunities and multiple paths to mastering an objective.
What is your advice to new teachers?
My advice for new teachers would be to stick with it and don't give up. Teaching is a challenging profession and things will not be easy. However, it's a very rewarding profession that makes the difference in the lives of so many children. It's important that we set high expectiations for our students and we make sure that each and every child reaches that by giving them the resources, the tools and the strategies that they need to get there. It's also important that new teachers establish relationships with students and with their families, but also with other colleagues and other educators. As teachers, we can't try to reinvent the wheel; we have to build on the expertise of those around us.