Since the second I decided I wanted to be a teacher, I made up my mind on what I wanted my students to learn from my class. Teaching these main three things are very important because they are things they will need for the rest of their life. They each help build a strong child into a successful adult of tomorrow. I have attached two Piktocharts and one checklist.
|Assessment Replacing Testing|
|1. Reduce the number of tests and increase assessment|
|2. Give students a break from classwork|
|3. Provide open ended questions|
|4. Provide students with the opportunity to flourish in something they enjoy|
|5. Create an environment where students put their peers before themselves|
Equality vs equity
- Equality is sameness while equity is fairness, being fair is the right thing to do:
Students must learn that being equal is not always being fair. There will always be situations where a student may need extra tools to help them move on. Others may not find it to be ‘fair’ if they do not need it. It is difficult for children to understand that sometimes not because they do not need something does not mean another person does not it either. Some students may need more tools than others, to achieve the same goal (ex. Technology, assistance for ELL students, accommodations for specific needs).
- Encourage students to help the peers in need
This important for students to do on their own, we can only encourage them. Helping others gives us a very good feeling in return. Sometimes a student will not understand the teacher, and this is when a peer can be of much help. If there is a student that needs help but the teacher can’t get to him for any reason and another student can help, it would really help the teacher.
- Hold equal expectations for every student, even if some need extra help
Lowering our expectations for a specific group of students can make them feel less of a student. They all need to feel that they are equally responsible for achieving certain expectations.
- Create a classroom environment that includes all the students without excluding students for any reason
I do not like to see any students left us because of the way they look, what they believe in, or any other reason. I want them to integrate every student because it is only fair for everyone to enjoy the moment.
- Motivate parents to be involved in the student’s education
Motivating parents to play a role in their child’s education can greatly benefit the student in always doing the right thing. The student will then want to be there for any student who may not have anyone to stand up for them.
- Create an environment where students put their peers before themselves
I want to create an environment where all the students look out for each other and care for each other. Before they say or do anything that may affect another student they must think twice before doing something that may hurt another student.
Dive into a diverse classroom
- Zero Rejection, every student will receive the same opportunity
I want to be the one classroom where students go to get away from any negativity they may be facing. Every student in my class will be given the same opportunity to perform an objective as any other student.
- Person-first language: we are humans with abilities before a disability
In a classroom where there may be a student with a noticeable need, every student in the class should be taught about the condition. A student will be identified as a student and then their disability. We all have abilities and those are the ones everyone should recognize not the disabilities.
- Learning styles are as different as every student is to each other
As a teacher, we are to learn the different ways our students learn so that we can include them in our lessons. Our job is to challenge students but not make it too hard to the point that they give up.
- The lesson should always be responsive to students’ needs
If we are aware of specific needs of our students, we should modify our lessons so that the can participate. Modifying our lessons is giving the students who are usually left out, the opportunity to join in.
- Inclusion, every student should feel like they belong, welcomed and invited
Encourage students to include each other in activities, games, projects, etc. This will make the students happy, knowing that they are not being left out. The students should be surrounded by the warm feeling of invitation and a place they feel free and welcomed.
- Every week or two, focus on a well-known person with a disability and learn about their hardships and successes
This will encourage and motivate students with special needs in a whole other level. I have seen this implemented in a classroom I observed before and it had great outcomes.
- Set rules on how people should be treated while challenging any negative attitudes
Do not permit the negative attitudes, rude comments/ jokes, etc. in the classroom. Teaching students to not do this will more likely extend the use to outside of school. Instead of being told what not to do, it would be nice if they had rules and a list filled with ways they should be treating others.
Assessment is meant to be better than testing
- Reduce the amount of testing and increase the amount of assessment
Instead of overwhelming students with constant testing, substitute it with assessment. Check how the students as they are working, do not wait until the end to test them.
- Give students the opportunity to take breaks to break up a long lesson and ask them to reflect
This will give students the opportunity to stretch, let out the giggles and conversations, so that when their break is over they are focused. This has been proven to reduce the amount of wasted time on unnecessary tasks.
- Provide open ended questions throughout the day to estimate the students’ understanding
Giving the students open ended questions, is making them reevaluate and reflect. They will analyze their possible answer with not just one correct answer. This is great to check students’ understanding.
- Provide students the opportunity to flourish in something they enjoy then assess them (art, acting, music, exploring using science, history, etc.)
Allow time for students to work on something they really enjoy and not grade them on the final project. Take the outcome in consideration for the grade, but focus more on what the students had to do to achieve the end results.
- When working problems out, make sure students know how to get to the answer
Like stated before, this is very important. A teacher should be more concerned about the student knowing how to work out a problem, rather than the actual answer they got. If they worked out the problem correctly but got the answer wrong, then maybe they missed a clue somewhere.
- At the end of the day have students reflect, write any questions or comments on a paper and put in a private box
Doing this every day, will allow us to see if the students understood the concept for the day or if they need help. This allows them to ask questions without being put on the spot when asking.
Barrett, L. (2013). Seamless teaching: Navigating the inclusion spectrum. Teaching Tolerance, 52(43), 53-55.