Putting the “It” Back in Teaching...

Sep 5, 2012 by

In my area of the country it is “Back to School” week.  I know that my colleagues in other parts of the country have been in session one, two or more weeks already.  Whether we are in our first week or finishing our first month, this new school year stretches before us with plans and possibilities. This summer I had the privilege of hearing a talented BER colleague, Lynn Stenroos, present a keynote address at a summer conference.  She titled the keynote “The IT Factor” based on Mark Wiskup’s book The It Factor: Be the One People Like, Listen to, and Remember.  My comments here are adapted from her ideas.  Wiskup defines the “IT” factor as “the remarkable ability to instantly create honest and powerful connections, in every meeting and every social interaction, every...

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First You Need to Love Me

Jul 29, 2011 by

The author Avi once told a group of teachers, “If you are going to teach me to read and to write, first you need to love me.” I love that thought!  Our students are human beings first and one of their most basic needs is to feel loved.  Lucy Calkins says that our first job as teachers is to fall in love with each and every child—right away.  One of the best ways for me to do that is to use a few tools that help my students and their parents teach me about themselves.  One of my favorites is this parent survey: Download Parent Survey I have found that this simple survey, with just a few open-ended questions, gives my students’ parents the opportunity to tell me anything they feel I should know. ...

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