I've been a high school English teacher for ten and a half years. My first year of teaching took place in an eighth grade classroom, so I have a total of eleven and a half years experience. I have served as the yearbook sponsor, drama coach, video news teacher, and have worn many other different hats at different times. I taught at-risk students for three years through a special grant at my school and when that grant was no longer in place, I was still able to teach these students along with all other types of learners so I definitely have experience with differentiated instruction.
My style is to build relationships with my students before I can ever hope to implement true learning. Students need a buy-in. Yes, there are a few students who will do what is expected every single time to the very best of their abilities, but we all know these students are the minority. Therefore, I believe it is imperative that the ones who are selective with their efforts know I believe in what they can do. When the students know more about me and how approachable I am and how focused I want my students to be on quality and improvement, the gains follow. They have to know they are safe in my classroom, not only safe from bullying from peers but also safe to "put it all out there" and challenge themselves in a way they never have. They have to believe in me and trust that I will help them if they struggle. I do this by showcasing their strengths, not picking at their weaknesses.
Teacher of the Year, Teacher Leader, West Tennessee Writing Project Teaching Consultant and Presenter, and Presenter for District: How to Build Relationships with Students.
BA Organizational Management, Bethel University MS Literacy in the Content Areas, Walden University 30 Hours-University of Tennessee Martin
I am a happily married mother of five kids (all in college). I'm a novel writer and curriculum designer. I'm taking a break from the classroom to write full-time. Allowing myself to just be who I am, an outside-the-box, adult ADHD-ridden, random, creative teacher. Trusting my instincts has gotten me so much further with my students than any book I opened in college. New teachers, my best advice is to allow your students to know who you really are and they will open up to you and that's when the magic happens. It works every. single. time.