At Practice Makes Perfect, we have a teaching fellowship program which exposes college students who want to become teachers to classrooms and neighborhoods they once had negative preconceptions of. By introducing them to the environment that they once saw as different or unsafe and altering their preconceptions, we’ve been able to create a pipeline of teachers in many of the low-income neighborhoods we’re serving.
By laying out your classroom in a specific way, you can clarify student expectations. This, in turn, helps students participate more fully in the activity you have planned. Aside from preparing them for the lesson, this can ward off disruptive behavior that often occurs when students are caught off guard.
Social-Emotional Learning, or SEL, is a process that allows both children and adults to learn the skills they need to understand and manage emotions. By doing so, they can set and accomplish goals, have positive relationships, make positive decisions, and feel and show emotions for others. According to CASEL, there are 5 core SEL competencies. These include:
Responsible decision making
In 2015, more than 60% of children aged 3 to 18 had internet access at home. Also, the average age a child gets a smartphone is now 10.3 years. With this in mind, teachers need to adapt their lessons and curricula according to the evolution of today’s digital natives. But, successful technology integration is about more than getting the tools into the classroom.
Take our summer program, for example. By the end of the summer, we always see a growth in math and reading literacy. But, the impact of our summer program is not limited to the short-term increase in math and English scores. And, if we stuck to this sole measure of success, our program would just be another intervention.
Despite the evidence that smaller class sizes can improve student learning, it’s not as simple as just reducing the number of kids in a classroom. Yes, when we decrease the number of kids in a classroom we reduce the teacher’s workload. But, do we increase the quality of the instructions or the teaching experience?
A recent survey by Netflix showed that more than 60% of people binge-watch between 2 and 6 episodes of a show in one sitting – that is an hour to six hours of content! When I attend education conferences and sit in on professional development sessions, I tend to cringe when experts tell teachers and administrators that students do not learn when they are seated all the time. They usually go on to say that if the lessons involved more movement and less “seat-time”, more students would be engaged.
One of the toughest parts of running a school is trying to be good at the very wide-reaching demands of school leadership. The pressures of one person doing all of those things and appeasing every stakeholder in the process – student to parent – is borderline impossible. After years of partnering with schools to provide them with high quality, academic learning programs for their children, we discovered that outsourcing can be easy!