Saturday, April 21, 2012

A First Year Teacher's Struggle with Student Achievement

A Post on Student Achievement Best Practices

 by Tracy West, 4th Grade Teacher, Carver Elementary, GA

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Student achievement best practices are hard to recognize as a first year teacher, but you can still believe in your students.
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As an educator, each year I am introduced to new students, new attitudes, new beliefs, and new goals.  However, it is my job and responsibility to help each of them reach their goals.  In order to do that, I try to instill in every student that they can succeed. 

All I require them to do is start at their level, and work to make a gain.  No, not all children are at the same level, but every child can obtain a goal.  It is my hope that by the end of the year, they have learned enough to meet or exceed the standards. 

My first year, as a teacher, I didn't understand how Bobby could be reading on a second grade level, however, be in the fourth grade.  It took a lot for me to look past his weaknesses, and focus on his strengths.  By the end of the year, Bobby was reading on his grade level.  I owe his accomplishments to him believing that he could succeed if he put his mind to it.  I allowed him and the other students an opportunity to learn through hands-on, the use of technology, peer tutoring, and other teaching strategies. 

In the end, whatever it took to help them reach their goals, I used it.  That is what change is all about.  From then on, I entered the classroom the first day, looking for strengths. 

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