Tag Archives: school

Growing Pains: Adjusting to the new year

3 Aug

Growing Pains Pic

After being an educator for many years we can sometimes get in a cynical space. We think we know everything there is to know about our professions, then we get a new administrator or a new group of students and suddenly we’re discombobulated, not because those folks are completely out of whack, but because they are different and do things in a way to which we are not accustomed. We feel uncomfortable and trapped in our own classrooms or buildings. These are the “Growing Pains.” At first it seems like a hindrance, what we’re doing is no longer working, it’s no longer changing student behavior, it’s no longer moving the needle on your scores, it’s no longer part of the changing culture of your campus. In actuality these situations are opportunities to learn innovative ways of doing things and to better ourselves. Similar to the feelings in childhood when your body is pained from its growth and change, we tolerate the pain because we know that on the other side is a stronger, better person. Here are some tips to reduce your “Growing Pains”:

  1. Seek clarity – If you don’t understand a change, ask targeted questions about it, not to poke holes in its perceived necessity, but to truly try and gain an understanding of the purpose.
  2. Adjust softly – Take a step back and allow the change to happen, you may grow to love the new ways. Pick your battles.
  3. Focus on building relationships– When we take a deeper interest in our co-workers and students we can get a deeper understanding of not just what they are doing but why, we can better understand their perspective and as a result communicate more successfully to make sure that the transition and growth benefits everyone involved.

If you are experiencing “Growing Pains,” stay confident that once you reach the other side of that obstacle you will find that you have grown, professionally and emotionally. Seek to understand the purpose of certain changes, find a piece of it that you believe in, grab it and run with it. You got this!

Toshila Darjean

@5starstudents

5starstudents.com

Communication is Key

20 Oct

 

Communication is Key

 

For any relationship to work there must be communication. In education, the relationship that parents have with their child’s teachers and administrators can make or break the connection with the student. Because parents trust schools with their children, 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. It is imperative that schools have an open line of communication with their parents and stakeholders.

Here are five ways to create continuous communication with your parents:

  1. Introduce yourself at the beginning of the year– I know that this can be  long and tedious for teachers at the upper levels, but the first impression is the lasting one. Call or email your parents to enlighten them about what they and their child should expect throughout the year.
  2. Create a Class Website– This will keep your parents in the loop about everything taking place in your class. No parent wants find out on Tuesday that “Math Night” is on Wednesday. The more you keep your parents informed, the more likely they are to participate and communicate.
  3. Make Positive Phone Calls– Parents have become accustomed to receiving phone calls from their child’s school with dread because it seems the call always brings bad news. Make it a point to call and give good and positive news. This will not only boost students’ self-esteem, but the parent will feel a sense of pride in the job they are doing with their children.
  4. Spotlight Nights– Have each department display their students work for parents to come to the school to review. Parents are always amazed at their student’s creativity and accomplishments. This also lets parents know that you want them on your campus to help support the vision of the school.
  5. Remind101– Have all of your parents subscribe to Remind101, to ensure they are receiving day-to-day information on school happenings.

With the parents, teachers, administrators, and students working together, anything is possible.  Keep your parents in the loop and make them feel welcome on your campus, the community spirit will spill over into your halls and success will be inevitable! Parents want to know how their students are doing and what they can do to help, open that line of communication and become a team.

Toshila M. Darjean

@5starstudents

 

Funny Things Kids Say #1

29 Aug

Smile

My kids are hilarious.  My two sons are eight and nine and I swear they are one great comedic team.  The night before the first day of school as I was helping them pick out clothes for their big day we had an exchange that went a little something like this:

My youngest son:      Mom, what time are you waking us up in the morning?

Me:                                  You need to set your alarm for 6 a.m.

My youngest son:      Mom, please don’t wake me up that early, I need my beauty sleep.

My oldest son (flatly): You’re going to look that way no matter what.

Ha! A little teasing between siblings is natural and while I do not allow any type of malicious put downs or disrespect between my children, on one hand, on the other hand, we have to teach our children how to laugh and the art of being able to take a joke.

A little joke never hurt anyone, teach your children to laugh, even if it’s at themselves from time to time.

Toshila Darjean

@5StarStudents

Teacher Tips for Back to School 2013

20 Aug

 

Back to School Pic

 

With the first day of school fast approaching we educators are extremely busy trying to prepare for the New Year, organizing our classrooms, attending meetings and churning out engaging lessons. Our students are anxious for knowledge and we don’t want to let them down. Not only do I plan to start the New Year right, but I also plan to keep the momentum going throughout the year with the following proven techniques.

1.  Education is not just for children– It is imperative as educators that we become life-long learners. Every year new initiatives are promoted in an enthusiastic attempt to reach our students, especially in the area of technology. Attend as many staff developments as possible to keep up with the latest educational trends and subscribe to social media that allows you access to constant information.

2. Try different things– Think about all of the things that have consistently worked for you and refine them if need be, but, also think of one thing or way of doing something that did not work so well for you last year and come up with a specific plan to change that process and try something new. Many times we keep the same processes despite the fact that they may not work most efficiently for us because they’re comfortable. Good is not always comfortable, just think of a pair of cute, new shoes!

3.  Preparation, preparation, preparation– Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare. Lay out a game plan, regularly, so that you will be prepared when your students walk through the door on the first day and every day after. Preparation will help to ensure a smooth, fun and educational year.

4.  Take care of yourself- Build your decompression activity into your daily schedule. Whatever it is that relaxes you, whether it’s yoga, running, baking, cleaning, (I wish I had this problem) etc find time to do it regularly. Your students take their cues from you and whatever attitude you bring into the classroom will be reflected by your students so make sure that it is a good and healthy one.

These are just some of the techniques that I use throughout the year to keep me on track. What activities, routines and techniques keep you on track?

Toshila Darjean

@5StarStudents