Today is the last day of school. Teachers are ready to check out and begin the summer break. To end the day, our principal brought in David Miller, an educational consultant from Baltimore, MD. I will have to tell you he was very good. He kept us engaged, and I learned a lot. Here is a few things that I learned.
1. Kids are not Disposable
We can’t count out our students when they are young. Even though some students may be difficult, rude, or combative you can’t count them out. You have to allow students to be children. Their frontal lobes are not fully developed. So they don’t see the whole picture of their actions. At some point we will and some have run into those tough students and talk to them. Many become successful, others don’t. For those former students who do, remember you made an impact on them even though you didn’t see it years ago.
2. Relationships with students is important
It is important to have authentic relationships with your students. Students don’t have to know everything about you, but you can share some things with them so they know you have experienced some tough times and good times. Reversely, students need to know you care about them and like them. It will make it easier for you to reach and teach them. If students know you like them, you can teach them.
3. You have to trust the people you work with
Co-Workers are important. Particularly in schools where we have seen some of the worst incidents. Knowing that others have your back in the small issues, will insure they will be there for the big issues. Know your co-workers. Talk and socialize with them when you can in school and out of school. Back you co-workers up when they need it when dealing with parents, students, or administration.
4. Shared Leadership
To change the climate at our school for the better, you must have shared leadership. The principals can change everything. There are more teachers than administrators. Teachers need to step up, and take charge of some the change they want to see in their building. Real change comes from the bottom up.
These are just a few things that I heard today from our speaker. It was a great time. I learned a lot. I hope your next Professional Development Day is as good as mine was.