Once upon a time, I entered the classroom as a young teacher excited to impact my students' lives. I started as a middle school teacher, so I had my class syllabus, the class rules, and the outline of what we would be doing for the year, and I presented that to my students on the first day of school. I did this because it's what my own school experience was and it's what I was told to do in my teacher education program. A few years later, I had the privilege and opportunity to attend a Tribes training, now known as Peace Learning Center. The program emphasized creating engaging learning communities. This shift from control to collaboration with students not only resonated with me but also yielded remarkable results in my classrooms over the years.
According to research by the RAND Research Group, “Nationally, 99 percent of teachers participated in one or more summer professional learning activities and believed that they were relevant, helpful for improving instructional practice, and just as useful as other activities the teachers' schools and districts provided.” (Steiner et al. 2021)
It’s that time of year when teachers (and students!) start counting down to the last day of school. A couple of weeks back, I was facilitating an MTSS support team session when one of the participants shared with the group that there were exactly 43 days of school left. She had the remaining time left in the school year down to the hour and minute! While some schools may have longer, we’re all in that phase of the “final countdown.”
A mid-year behavior reset can change the trajectory and help create a more positive and uplifting environment for students and staff members. Check out the blog and video below!
Even though most teachers and school administrators agree that teacher collaboration leads to improved outcomes for both teachers and students, many schools are still not providing enough time for teachers to work together during school hours. Of course, there are many challenges in building a master schedule that gives teachers this time, but there is also a growing body of research showing the significant benefits of facilitating effective collaboration.
Teacher collaboration is an important element for school improvement across the nation, and even more important when it comes to implementing a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) approach, and certainly worth taking a deeper dive.
As more districts are heading back to in-person learning, educators are being tasked with meeting the needs of students who have had a wide range of instructional and learning experiences over the past year. This might seem like even more of an uphill battle than what teachers have already gone through. Yet, there are several approaches that schools and districts can turn to help support this transition. Many of these approaches are key components of a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS), with which educators are already familiar. Below, we highlight the important distinction between learning and instructional loss as well as outline a few tips for effectively addressing the different skills and needs of students when they return to schools and classrooms.
As we move into the final stretch of one of the most challenging school years in our history, teachers and students might be noticing a decline in stamina. No matter the learning context (remote, in-person, or hybrid) keeping students engaged in learning at this point in the year is a common challenge. Although numerous teaching obstacles remain, there are several small but significant things that schools and teachers can do to boost and maintain student engagement.
Below we take a deeper dive into what student engagement really is and why it is so important. Then we discuss some practical approaches for keeping students interested and involved in lessons, activities, and discussions.
The impact of remote instruction on students has been discussed a great deal during the past ten months, while our nation’s teachers grapple with the complexities of implementing distance learning. As teachers and students engage daily in e-learning, with some schools pivoting back and forth between a hybrid model of remote and in-person schooling, the topic of what it actually means for students to be at “grade level” has been trending. Prior to COVID-19, students were considered to be on “grade level” if they had mastered the skills and concepts at their expected level of difficulty as measured by formal assessments and district/state standards.