Guest Blog by: Adam Peterson, TeachersLearn2
It’s no secret that teaching is a tough, demanding, and ever-changing job! As educators, we are always looking for ways to do more for our students, but sometimes we all need a little help to do so! So, today I’m offering some help to all of you who may be looking for a way to HELP SHIFT HAPPEN in your own classroom! Let’s do this!
S – H – I – F – T !
S – Step Out
Engagement is such a huge factor when it comes to the progress that happens in your classroom! If students are engaged in their learning, then they’re most likely going to retain that knowledge better. Sometimes creating engaging lessons and environments requires you to STEP OUT of your comfort zone a little bit! I had a student one year in my kindergarten classroom who was interested in nothing but…wait for it…Pokemon! Yep, that’s all he wanted to talk about, read about, and learn about. The trouble is, I knew nothing about Pokemon! So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and learned as much as I could about Pokemon. I created lessons, found books, and created a Pokemon hunt activity to help my students learn about the layout of our school! Needless to say, that little guy was engaged more than ever, and we had a blast learning things we were already going to learn about anyway. Trust me when I say I stepped out of my comfort zone! I searched all over and pieced together a costume that looked like the famous Pokemon trainer, Ash Ketchum, and wore it on the day we did our Pokemon hunt around the school. Funny hats and costumes aren’t necessary, but engaging your students based on their interests is!
H – Help
Asking for help isn’t something to be afraid of. As teachers, we work best when we work together. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to your peers for help when you need it. Whether it be planning lessons, creating new units, or simply talking through classroom issues, having a strong team to turn to makes all the difference. Reaching outside of your classroom and school is another way to get the help you need! I always open my door to volunteers! Parents, grandparents, and community members are such a great asset to HELP SHIFT HAPPEN in your classroom!
I – Independent Learners
Teaching is the best job in the world! I absolutely love working with children and seeing the magic in their eyes when they learn new things! But, as much as I love teaching and working with my students, I also know it’s important to help them reach a level of independence. Helping SHIFT happen across grade levels is only possible when we work to create lifelong learners! Getting students to want to learn on their own is such an important part of our jobs, and can be easier than you think! Creating an environment where students are able to work at their own pace to reach individual goals will help all of you reach the goals you have set for them!
F – Fun
One of my favorite parts of teaching was hearing my students, and parents of students, say how much fun our classroom was! I make it a point to make learning as much fun as possible on a daily basis! There’s really no secret to this at all! You know you love to do things that are fun, you enjoy things that are fun, and you remember times in your life that were fun! Well, kids are people too, and they love FUN just as much as you! Share your classroom fun using #makelearningfun
T – Teachers Learn Too
Teaching better to me means always doing what you can to improve yourself as an educator. Whether it be reading a resource book, an inspirational book, watching webinars, or attending conferences, I am always trying to make myself better as a teacher! The power of social media has made this easier than ever! Follow teachers on social media, join groups on Facebook, and watch YouTube channels! There are so many awesome educators willing to share their knowledge, but why not do the same! If you have awesome things to share, do it! Use #helpshifthappen
It is my hope that these ideas are nothing new to you! Hopefully, you’re stepping up and stepping out on a daily basis – creating the most engaging and fun environments you can – constantly learning and making yourself better all the time! If you’re doing these things then you’re definitely HELPING SHIFT HAPPEN, and I applaud you! Keep being awesome!
- Adam Peterson