Teacher's Guide to a Successful Classroom
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Let's Make Every Child Successful!

Teaching is like Traveling

It's our job as educators to make sure that every child is provided the opportunity to learn. As we know all individuals are different. They like different foods, different colors, dress differently, express themselves differently, and they learn differently. Having different methods of learning is not bad or wrong...it's just different. As educators we must accept this. I had a professor in college once say that teaching children is like traveling. If you are taking a trip to a neighboring state you may drive. You may decide the best way to get across the United States is to take a plane. To reach that nice quiet island you may take a boat or a plane....maybe both. What mode of transportation you select depends on where you are going. Same with teaching children. The mode of teaching depends on the child. It's our job as educators to plan how to best reach each individual child. If we only use one mode of transportation then our travels will be limited.

There are many things to consider when determining how to best educate a variety of children. We must consider the curriculum which is our end destination. Teaching the curriculum is more than just teaching at the knowledge level. (2+2=) We must understand the depth at which we are expected to teach. I can say I'm traveling to Louisiana or I can say I am traveling to New Orleans. These are very different. Yes, New Orleans is in Louisiana; however, it's a much more specific destination. 

We must also consider behavior when determining how to best educate a variety of children. Students as with adults have a variety of personalities so behaviors come into play more with some than with others. Some students will follow instructions just because we said to do it. Others....not so much. As educators we need to decide whether we want to punish the behavior (send the student to the office, suspension, take away recess....) or change the behavior. There is a huge difference between the two. If punishment alone worked, then we wouldn't have any behavior problems after the first week or two of school.

We must also consider the needs of struggling learners before they are placed under the special education umbrella and afterwards. Some students will master a skill quickly and others may need to take a different vehicle to reach the destination. It is important for all teachers to have at least a basic understanding of special education and the laws that drive it.

As educators we must believe in every child and teach every child everyday.

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