Sunday, September 14, 2014

Respect and Security Create Success for Students

     I have always said that I love my career choice because I meet some of the most amazing people. Today I met "Docbob" on Twitter and found the above quote on his page. I so agree with David A. Sousa. I have long had the belief that students need to feel safe in their environment in order to give their brain the freedom to process new information. 
     Each year I face a new group of students. I teach in a 7th and 8th grade self-contained, special education classroom. My students have for various reasons, not always had success in school. Sometimes they come from impoverished families and broken homes.  Many have been ridiculed both by peers and adults in their life.  I stand before them, a new adult. There is always a "honeymoon" period where we all just study each other. Trust takes time and consistency. Trust is earned. Trust doesn't come easy. My motto:" firm and fair", yet not really. I guess my motto really is, "consistent and fair." I have a little over six hours a day to nurture and guide these students. I expect a lot. My students work hard every day. Respect is expected. I respect them, I expect them to respect me, their teacher aides, other adults in our school, their peers and above all themselves.  
     While with me, I want my students to be comfortable. I give them snacks and allow drinks in the room. It's difficult to concentrate if you're hungry or thirsty. So we take a little time to eat. Again, it's about feeling comfortable.  
    My classroom is a safe haven. Bullying and name calling are not allowed. We all accept each other for who we are with our wonderfully, unique differences. Our focus each day is our school work. My students know that they are cared for. They know that we will face our challenges head on and figure out a way to approach them. I care about my students success. I also care about them as people. My students feel physically safe and emotionally secure while in our classroom; therefore they are emotionally available to work hard and that in itself is success. 

Daily Parent and Educator Links:
No, Actually It's Not Okay for My Son to Lick You

Focus on Poverty: Education Isn't a Magic Bullet

"Addressed to Him Who Stares at His First Birthday candle." Today in 1929.

Daily Book Review:
     Lincoln's Last Days by Bill O'Reilly.  Bill O'Reilly at his best. Lincoln's Last Days, is adapted from Bill O'reilly's best selling novel, Killing Lincoln.  The adaptation is for young adult readers. This book will capture young minds giving them accurate information about the killing of Abraham Lincoln. 

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