Thoughts about how to improve your student’s 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 highly needed. Interestingly, when it comes to planning for day one, we are able to achieve that almost perfectly but 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 with students, strong parent communication system, weekly peer and teacher feedback, and your own regular self-evaluation.
Plan to improve your student’s success
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!
- Planning gives you a sense of direction: When you don’t plan, you merely react to daily occurrences without putting into consideration what will happen in the long run. For example, the solution that makes sense at the moment may not make sense in the long run. Planning helps to avoid that and provides solutions that will be useful both momentarily and in the long run.
- Planning helps you anticipate problems and how to solve them: When you do proper planning, it helps you to predict problems you may face during the new school year. Once you identify them, you make necessary changes up front to avoid them!
Set Up The Classroom
As a teacher, the classroom is your basic environment. No one works in a dirty and unorganized 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. More about that another time. I always love to think of a theme to set up space for my class library filled with a variety of books, bean bags, and possibly a comfy chair or small couch.
Get All Classroom Supplies And Materials Ready
After you’ve set up the classroom, there is a huge need for you to get all the classroom supplies and materials ready. Irrespective if you are a new teacher or you’ve been in the school for a while, 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.
Create Class Rules And Procedures
This is the ultimate key to maintaining a well-managed classroom but rather than just dictate a set of rules the first day, involve your students in the rulemaking. 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 rulemaking they tend to follow them and hopefully, a lot of the rules that they brainstorm will mirror your own.
Develop Communication System With Students And Parents
Students who thrive at school, tend to have a strong teacher-parent communication system going one between them and the student. This will enable you to understand what practices are best to go with. Also, parents can give you more honest reviews about their kids. So when you have an effective communication with them, it helps you know exactly what they wish for children and 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.
Make Teacher and Peer Feedback a Weekly Priority
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 your student’s success. 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.
Evaluate Your Performance and Activities Regularly
One very powerful element is to make sure everything stays coordinated, there is need to evaluate your performance and other activities you have put in place to maintain a successful school year. I suggest that you do the evaluation weekly. When you do the evaluation, you are able to spot where there are lapses and you cover them immediately. Also, if you are doing well already, it will be a huge boost to your morale and that will also encourage you in doing much better.
Consistency is key! Maintain a right attitude towards your students and your students will surely blossom!