Take your mask off and let the students see the real you. Begin to think about making the most of the Mindset Matters workshop by including more of you.
Share the kind of student you were in school. How was your school experience? Did you sit in the front, middle, or back of the classroom? Were you volunteering answers or working math problems on the board, checking out books from the library, or being the class clown making everyone laugh? Which group did you identify with in school, whether it was band, auto mechanics, athletics, choir, theatre or no group, because you kept to yourself? Let the students see the student you were and now the adult you have become. If you are bold enough, share your timeline in pictures from the time you were their age to present day. Taking this time to let them see you will go a long way.
We are always growing and getting better. Let the students see they too can grow and become an even better person. Just because they might be challenged now doesn’t mean they always will have trouble with it. It’s possible to change ones mindset. For example, as I share with my students, I didn’t like to read, even though my parents read to me all of the time when I was a kid. In fact, I didn’t really start to enjoy reading until I reached fourth grade and entered Mr. Lehwald’s class. He showed me the joy reading a book could bring to ones life. I don’t remember exactly what he did to inspire me to read, I just know that he made me feel good about myself! I volunteered answers, participated, and became my best when I was in his class because he believed in me! I felt like I could learn anything! I share with my students I think that’s why I became a teacher— to instill in them the can do spirit that he instilled in me. My parents supported me tremendously, but it took a very special teacher for me to really believe in myself!
Most of the time when you’re struggling with something outside of the classroom the students will step up and be their best, so it’s a win win for every one! The students are a part of your classroom family, and when they feel accepted as such, they will work for you. Take your mask off and be your true self, and your classroom will run smoothly.
Lastly, complete daily assignments along with the READ 180 students. I share my daily Do Nows, book log entries, and ReaL Book assignments with my students. I have learned that by personally doing the work that I give to my students allows them to see how much I value it. My students know that I am not going to assign busy work because I value my time and energy as much as theirs. I assign work that will benefit and improve my students' reading skills. My mask comes off, and I am a full participant in our READ 180 classroom.
Remember the students are watching and listening to you. Your body language and what you say everyday will affect the classroom learning environment. Will you be the positive force in the 2019-2020 classroom and show your true self? Of the many READ 180 educators I have met over these years, I know the answer is a firm, "Yes!"
Have a wonderful Back to School.