What are 10 things teachers can do to prepare for the upcoming school year?

Posted by Ronald | August 10, 2015  |  No Comment

The Republican debate drew a record TV audience of 24 million viewers. There are more than a dozen candidates vying for the Republican nomination with the hopes of becoming the 46th President of the United States. Some of the candidates’ ideas were relevant while other opinions did not seem in touch with the common person.

Just as these candidates are preparing for the presidential election, our teachers are preparing for the upcoming school year. For this special feature, the critical question to be asked is: What are 10 things teachers can do to prepare for the return of 48.9 million public school students? Following are The Holmes Education Post’s suggested recommendations for teachers:

Get to know your students

When you get to know your students, they will respect you and do everything you ask them to do. One effective way to get to know your students is to attend their extra-curricular activities and highlight their events in the classroom. Students will see that you are not only at the school to get a pay check, but also there to be an integral part of their life.

Think creatively about how to engage students

Students come to the classroom with different learning styles and abilities. Tailor your message so that it meets the needs of your students. Some students are visual learners and need to see how things fit together. Other students are more auditory and learn best by hearing the message. Regardless of their learning styles, adapt your message to meet them where they are.

Connect with your students’ parents

Parents want their children to be successful in school and life. They also want to get regular progress on how their children are doing. Send parents notes, connect with them via email and set up conferences with them. Make sure that you connect with parents at the Parent Student Teacher Association and Open House. It is critical, however, that your first contact with parents is to convey something positive about their children rather something negative, especially if you want to build a good rapport with them.

Share best practices with colleagues

If you have discovered a best practice for teaching, share it with your colleagues. This can become a good practice for the entire school. Students are amazed when they see continuity in the lesson from one teacher’s classroom to another. All of this can improve the learning process.

Use social media

We are in an era of social media. As a teacher, you will need to keep up with social media because this is the way of the world and how your students communicate. Learn about Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. More importantly, learn what technology kids are using next because it is always changing. Figure out ways to communicate the good things happening in your classroom via social media. Just make sure all posting is approved by your building principal and in line with school board policy.

Tap resources of the community:

Tap the resources of the community to help support your curriculum. Many schools have a list of community partners who are willing to donate their human and physical resources. In using volunteers, make sure that they have received the appropriate clearance from the building principal to volunteer at the school and work with children.

Take care of yourself

Effective teachers understand that this profession is not a 9-5 job. Rather, it is a job you do around the clock. Therefore, make sure you find time for yourself by getting sufficient rest, eating properly and exercising regularly. As you do this, you will be a better contributor to education. More importantly, you will send a message to your students that taking care of one’s health is as important as developing the mind.

Contextual learning

Another effective way to engage student is to contextualize learning. In this sense, you should practice relating the lesson to something that is meaningful to students. This might include relating the lesson to students’ experiences at home, the community or school.

Remember the significance of your profession

The teaching profession is the springboard to every student’s career path in life. Although you don’t get paid like a professional athlete or entertainer, you lay the foundation for them and others to reach their maximum potential. Therefore, be proud of your profession and remember the value you contribute to society.

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of nine books, “Education Questions to be Answered,” “Current Issues and Answers in Education,” “How to Eradicate Hazing,” “Professional Career Paths,” “Your Answers to Education Questions,” “How to revitalize the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.” “Completing the Dissertation: Tips, techniques and real-life experiences from Ph.D. graduates,” “Jacob’s Dream, A Story of Careers for Children” and Jacob’s Dream, A Story of Animals in Africa. He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper.  Holmes is a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]


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