Engaging Learning Environment

Both articles made me think and reaffirm my belief of the commitment needed for those who decided by the teaching profession. A teacher is continuously bombarded by the pressure of dealing with a system that insists on keep trying new instruction models, gathering data through testing (maybe too many per year) and follow the pace of the established curriculum. The truth is that above those all things every classroom is different, and every student is different, and nobody knows that better than teachers. Many situations are happening at the same time in the life of each student, and we need to keep the students at the center of our mission. We should have higher expectations beyond testing results or the unfair system. Talking to our students, knowing them better we can identify their needs. Helping them in other areas no necessarily academic has a positive impact on academics. As Jennifer Collins highlight, a teacher has so many hats and depending on her/his students’, she/he needs a different hat to wear. Sometimes it takes more time to teach a lesson and helping them to understand is also appropriate. Showing our students that they are important to us and we care about them makes a difference in their performance. For example, in my classroom sometimes we take extra time with the warm-up. I use the warm up to review vocabulary and verb conjugations from the previous unit, but if I notice that students are still struggling, I take the time to reteach the concepts. It helps to build confidence in them, and they will be more open to learning the next lesson. I don’t believe on rush teaching lessons just to follow a curriculum timing. We need to build a relationship sending them a message that we are available to help them to be successful. The classroom environment will turn more engaged; students will feel free to make questions and more open to learning about their mistakes. My experience with today’s students is they easily quit to those things they identify as hard or too complicated. It is essential how we project our belief in their capacity to try again to accomplish what they have seen as a challenge. I use positive reinforcement every time they participate and rewards for some activities. We are a role model for our students beyond teaching we educate for the future. Thinking about that we never can quit in our teaching commitment if we want to teach them never quit to give their best in their life.