Reading and writing skills are not easy to teach or learn, but we all know it’s possible with even our most difficult students. Believing that you can make an impact in your scholars’ lives academically and socially is one of the first steps. Practicing habits of growth mindsets can help keep our minds focused on helping our scholars instead of worrying and complaining about their flaws.
Building relationships is a pretty important in helping challenging students as well. When children know you care, they care. The late Rita Pearson once said, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” Sometimes they like, and still don’t learn, but at least they are not disrupting the learning of those that are making gains. We all need to start with building strong relationships. To see Five Tips that I Use to Build strong relationships, please click this link: 5 Tips to Build Strong and Real Relationships with Your Students and Their Families.
Additionally, we need to know what the students know and don’t know, where they are, and what they need to do to get them where we need to be. Starting with your state’s standards and eligible content, or the Common Core Standards are great places to start. Starting with the program that your school or district has provided is not what we should be doing. It’s a resource that provides with some strategies, problems, and activities we can use to meet and/or exceed the standards. The programs are resources that make it a little easier for us as educators so that we do not have to spend 1,000 hours on Pinterest, surfing the web, surfing your state’s Department of Education’s website, or creating your own resources 100% of the time. Someone said to me, “Your standards and eligible content are your education bibles.”
Keena Flournoy White, is an Education Administrator as well as an Instructional Specialist of literacy and has over 21 years of experience in education, supporting schools throughout the tristate area. She also has three years making an impact in Middle Schools through The Middle School Quality Initiative. She has extensive experience in supporting grades Pre K through 8 in literacy instruction. Mrs. Flournoy White played a vital role in the Reading First initiative from 2004 to 2010, which she supported over 17 schools in grades K through 3. With her support and guidance in best literacy practices and using early grade indicators, schools were able to increase student achievement by an average of 38 percent, as measured by standardized assessments.
Mrs. Flournoy White provides targeted professional development for various audiences including school leaders, coaches, and teachers in researched based literacy practices, establishing effective teacher teams, and analyzing and interpreting data that leads to creating and executing meaningful action plans.
Mrs. Flournoy White obtained her Master degrees in Teaching Reading from Long Island University, a second masters in Educational Administration, and a third masters in Human Services Administration from Metropolitan College of New York. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Literacy.
To learn more about Mrs. Keena Flournoy White, please visit her website at Knowledge Defines the Future, and follow her Facebook page also titled, Knowledge Defines the Future.
As we continue to learn and grow together, what are some strategies that you use to motivate your students to write? Let’s keep this conversation going. Please share in the comments.
Until then, Happy Teaching!
Krystal L. Smith, The RenewED Teacher