How to improve student success from day one, brews anxiety almost all the time but I love the anticipation. In order to start off well, a lot of patience and preparation is needed. Interestingly, when it comes to planning for day one, we are able to achieve that almost perfectly. However, it’s also vitally important to keep the momentum going once we have begun. There are 7 sure-fire ways to do this. Plan, set up the classroom, organise resources, create procedures, parent communication, weekly feedback, and your self-evaluation.
If you fail to plan, it simply means you have planned to fail. That statement is as true as day and night! Recall I said earlier that the secret to achieving a great school year is not just to plan but to over plan. If you are thinking about how to improve your student’s success, you must plan for it! You should plan because it has been proven that planning helps to manage errors, waste and delays. Let me give you some more elaborate reasons why you need to plan!
As a teacher, the classroom is our basic environment. No one works in a dirty and unorganised environment. Therefore, classroom furniture should be arranged according to your teaching style. Desks can be arranged into traditional rows, cooperative clusters, or a horseshoe shape. Once you’ve decided that, place your desk strategically where you can see everyone clearly. Although personally, I like to get rid of the throne asap. You will be surprised but it does improve student success. More about that another time. I always love to think of a theme to set up space for my class library. Then, fill it with a variety of books, bean bags, and possibly a comfy chair or small couch.
After you’ve set up the classroom, there is a huge need for you to get all the classroom supplies and materials ready. Irrespective of whether you are a new teacher or you’ve been around awhile, it is imperative to contact school admin; to find out which materials and supplies will be given to you. In order to make sure your materials are always available, make a list of all the materials you use. Take stock at intervals to be sure of which needs to be added, modified or changed.
This is the ultimate key to maintaining a well-managed classroom. Rules are good but rather than just dictate, involve your students in the rule making. This will catapult each student towards the final goal of learning early on. Bonding and good relationships between students also helps. Encourage students to collectively come up with a list of rules as well. Research has shown that when students share in the rule making they tend to follow them. Hopefully, a lot of the rules that they brainstorm will mirror your own.
Students who thrive at school, tend to have a strong teacher-parent communication system. This will enable you to understand what practices are best to go with. Also, parents can give you more honest reviews about their kids. When you have an effective communication with parent and student, it will enable you to plan effectively. I know we all get busy but this is so important to success. The student-teacher relationship is one very crucial one. If you can bond with the student, you can definitely influence his/her reasoning.
Regularly arrange for teacher and peer feedback. This can’t just happen, we have to plan for it and encourage it intentionally. Cooperative group activities help break the ice for shy students. Breaking that fear just once may be the key that will improve student success in your class. Take the time to spend at least ten minutes of one on one time with each student per week chatting about anything. I try to conference at least once a week with each student in upper primary about specific ways forward with their work. How to specifically improve performance in a particular area and specific praise for one piece of work. Students love being special. – Don’t we all?
One very powerful element is to make sure everything stays coordinated. Evaluate your performance and other activities you have put in place. I suggest that you do the evaluation weekly. When you do the evaluation, you are able to spot where there are lapses and make changes. Also, if you are doing well already, it will be a huge boost to your morale.
Consistency is key! Maintain a right attitude towards your students and your students will surely blossom.
You might also like to read ‘Hattie and his High Impact Strategies for Teachers’