Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Be an Epic Teacher this year!

Social media serves up the news of the day, offers me quotes for my classroom, provides ideas to enhance the student learning happening in the classroom and most recently gave me the inspiration for this blog post!

Recently I saw a post from the wonderful folks at the Tell Project. This is The Teacher Effectiveness for Language Learning (TELL) Project, an initiative of AdvanceLearning. (And you should follow them at +TELL Project !) They have some great ideas that can be used to enhance the effectiveness of world language teachers. Recently they started their #epicteachers initiative on Twitter and it really gave me food for thought. After years of teaching and getting my National Board certification in WLOE, I would like to think that I have demonstrated my abilities as an instructor. But when do we reach the "epic" stage? When does one finally say that they are an accomplished teacher?  I say NEVER- because the way students learn and educational spaces are changing, our approaches, delivery of instruction and the way we interact with students must change and grow as well! So, how can you and I be more "epic" instructors?

My goal is to give valuable feedback this year. I want to give students more specific comments about how they can improve as well as offer them lots of support out of the classroom. Here are are a couple of tools that I am going to use that will improve my existing communication with students:

1. RemindHQ -safe, one-way texting from teacher to parent and student, great for reminders, inspirational thoughts, attaching pictures to get students thinking before they enter the classroom.
2. Kaizena -embed oral feedback into Google Docs that you want to give back to students- this is going to be one that I definitely work on being a part of my routine! Valuable and Personal!
3. Insert Comment Feature on Google Docs- I plan to make 2 comments...a Let's Celebrate! comment (something done well) and an Under Construction! comment (an area for learner improvement). The extra time it takes me to do.

Adding on new ways to communicate more effectively with students not only helps them grow in their learning but also helps me develop more positive relationships with all of them and their parents. And we know that Positive students=Productive students. And productive, happy students are what we want. Becuase in the end productive, happy students are what makes each of us "epic" teachers.

Won't you join me in the charge? I encourage you to go to the Tell Project, download the cool poster (that you can hang by your desk to remind you this school year) and think of a way that you can be more of an "epic" teacher today!


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