2022 is here. It is a new year with new opportunities. This is a good time to remind ourselves that it is possible to decide to do things differently in our classroom. That means students can make changes and that means teachers can make changes.
Students are more flexible than we sometimes realize. If teachers decide to act differently, their students will almost always change their behavior too. But not overnight. And, sometimes a student’s behavior will be more difficult before it gets better.
Students like to test out whether you really mean what you are doing and saying. It always takes time for both teachers and students to adjust to new ways of acting. But, if teachers decide they want to act, talk, organize, or teach differently in some way, the message is, “Go for it!”
Make whatever changes you think you should, hang in there, be sure of yourself, adjust your changes as you measure their impact, and celebrate as you gradually see the changes you are going for – in yourself and in your students.
The following are writing prompts and discussion topics you can use to let your students think about change
Imagine that your teacher started making new classroom rules.
- What would you think about that?
- Why do you think he or she would do that?
- Do you think most students would go along with the new rules? Why or why not?
- What advice would you give your teacher about how to make new rules and get students to go along with them?
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
- For middle or high school parenting or child development courses:
- Use the blog for discussion topics
- Require students to research the topics and agree or disagree with what the blog is suggesting.
- For all courses, especially English Language Arts:
- Use the blog for writing prompts for paragraphs, theme papers, journal entries, class starters, etc. Have students read the blog and respond to:
- Do you agree with what is being said about kids? Do kids really act, think or feel that way?
- Do you agree with what is being said about parents, grandparents, teachers and child caregivers? Do or should they act, think or feel that way?
- What would be your advice on this topic?
- What was left out of this article?
- If you were a parent, would you use any of this information? How?
Why can this blog be a useful teaching tool?
- Students that see connections between their coursework and their lives do better in school.
- Most students will either be parents one day or have children in their lives that they care about, so the topical information can help them build their knowledge about children and parenting and develop a positive image of the type of parenting they want to do.
- The new core literacy standards adopted by most states call for frequent writing in all courses.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can think critically. These prompts help students practice critical thinking.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can analyze what they read. These prompts help students practice analysis.