With the new school year approaching I have been thinking about all of the changes and special circumstances education is facing and dealing with. I have such empathy and compassion for all of the educators who are doing everything they can to make things feel as “normal” as possible with the current situation/challenge at hand. I truly wish every parent could see what goes on behind the scenes of education and the true passion and love teachers have for their jobs and children. It really is remarkable and many times goes unnoticed.
Today I wanted to give some insight to some things teachers do outside of teaching. A teacher’s work day is spent teaching the content, however there is SO much more that goes on outside of the “work” hours that I wanted to point out. Of course there are a million more things, but below are five to think about! Now is the time to encourage, appreciate, and love on those who are educating our children!
1.Plan & Create Instruction
Plan each subject, guided group instruction, extensions for students who grasp concept quickly, ways to re-teach a concept, and additional content to fill in any gaps. Understand what standard you are teaching along with vertical alignment of what was taught in previous year, and where they are going the following. Plan critical thinking questions and accommodations for specific students. Create anything needed for each lesson, small group, or activity (purchase, create, copy, cut, laminate, etc). Plan out grades for a 6 or 9 week period for each subject and differentiated assignments (ex: formative grades/summative grades). Create additional grade opportunities for students who need additional support/reteaching.
Track and keep student data up to date. Understand and know individual education plans or accommodations (academic, speech, behavior, etc) and tailor instruction for specific needs. Collect and be knowledgeable of student performance and goals for each subject. Provide paper work and data needed for any student and keep current documentation. Know every child and individual need from academic to health to overall well-being to provide the best instruction, opportunities, and experience. Provide oral and written feedback to students and parents to track growth. Meet with parents and other support staff to reflect on data and create any new systems, goals, or accommodations. Work collaboratively with any instructional teachers that work with or share specific students.
Attend meetings and training to stay up to date and tailor instruction to provide the highest quality instruction. Observe other teachers and allow teachers to observe you. Attend summer workshops and conferences. Learn and implement new resources, curriculum, or technology needs. Collaborate on collected data and create strategies to move forward. Mentor teachers, present to staff members or other district educators, organize and lead clubs, get involved in district initiatives (ex: curriculum writing). Be a life longer learner, flexible, and ready to implement change.
Purchase anything needed for classroom outside of district/school resources. Create a library, literacy stations/activities, math games, science experiments, and hands on learning/discovery opportunities. Purchase any supplies needed throughout the year or anything additional for the classroom such as treasure box items, specific student rewards, party materials, etc. Create a space that students want to learn in and are excited to be in every day.
Take the time to get to know every student. Learn their likes, dislikes, hobbies, interests, and learn what they respond best to. Listen and give advice, ask questions, dry tears, wipe up the snot or blood, stay calm in all situations, give hugs, encourage, be positive, smile, and remain a light. Build relationships where school becomes a safe space to learn, grow, and fail forward.
Big thanks to all the amazing teachers out there! Praying for wonderful school years with whatever that may look like!