Ideas from my experience teaching over many years: preschool to university level classes.
▪ All students have a special need, some unique way they learn. Some students are easy to assess, but others require dedication and understanding. Introduce yourself and deepen your knowledge of your students by sending letters of welcome. Ask “What do you want me to know about my student?”
2. Give each student a square on a laminated grid and develop a check-off method. The object: train yourself to connect with every student, each day.
3. Study how a student’s brain processes information. Remember a student, of any age, living in toxic stress cannot learn until you make them feel safe.
4. Homework is often misused by teachers for what a student didn’t understand during class. Successful students have review homework that reflects their classroom learning. Students with no one to help them at home need a homework club. Assistance with one or two problems can change a life.
5. Create a “buy-in.” Have students formulate classroom rules, sign them and then post them prominently in the room. Be playful and realize that treating your students as you want them to treat you pays off.
Charmaine Fitzgerald, retired Fresno Unified School District and current adjunct faculty at Fresno City College, Fresno