Three student-centered activities complete with accompanying worksheet guides, to help teachers of grade 6-9, gain a mutual respect from their students, thus creating a learning environment, and connection with their students, that will help their students have higher levels of success!
*Please note: These activities can be modified and adapted to meet almost any grade level. I focus on the 7th and 8th grade levels because I know, through first hand experience, that they can be successful with that age range.
It’s every teacher’s dream to be able to enrich their student’s lives with a quality education. The fact that you are expected to do this at the most difficult time developmentally, and hormonally, can be quite disconcerting at times, especially at middle school and junior high levels.
As a teacher of seventh and eighth grade students for fifteen years, I learned that the most important thing to first establish with your students, before you even begin actually trying to teach them curriculum, is to gain a mutual RESPECT from them.
I know, sounds very easy, but in actuality, may be the hardest thing for an educator to establish. It’s very easy to fall into the idea that teachers are the authority and students must obey, but I promise you (and I’ve seen it happen over and over again to teachers I worked with), if you start off with new students, and you present yourself as the almighty powerful authority figure that you are, you will lose more than half of your students in the beginning, and never establish a safe, comfortable learning community with those students.
And if you are fine with those statistics, then I bid you good luck, and you can feel free to stop reading.
Ready to read about a few very simple, fun, and extremely rewarding activities, which I personally used many times in my own classroom, to establish a learning tone with my students.