Lockett Learning Systems

Lockett Learning Systems

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Content or Relationship? Both!

Content or Relationship?  Both!

Cover content or build relationships? That is the question.
Both. That is the answer.
Schools of the past were charged with teaching content. Still today, most of our teaching is high content and low relationship. This approach works for between 1/3 and 1/2 of our students. But a 30% to 50% success rate is not acceptable. We must change.
High relationship and low content? No, no, a thousand times no! We have no business doing anything on a school campus that doesn't impact content. Content is what we get paid to do.
What, then? High content, high relationship! We pick up the remaining 50% of our students when we learn to infuse the two. SCORE...and every other effective reform initiative...builds on this concept. It is the only thing that works in today's busy world.
Here are SCORE's "Top Ten" strategies for building productive classroom relationships:
  1. 1.Share a personal learning struggle with your students. Strange as it seems, some of our students don't know learning was ever difficult for their teachers.
  2. 2.Stand at the door and greet each student by name.
  3. 3.Walk around the room to collect homework, one student at a time. That way they can't get through a day without facing you if they didn't do it.
  4. 4.Write your own tests, and include student names in the examples or prompts.
  5. 5.Tell them you miss them...and what you miss about them...when they're absent.
  6. 6.Discuss your observations and concerns with students when you see a behavior change. They're often begging someone to care enough to notice.
  7. 7.Share a personal strategy with them. For example, my favorite teaching web site is http://www.free.ed.gov. I find a wealth of information and links to resources there. Hope it helps you!
  8. 8.Share a weakness with them. Sometimes, for example, I'll draw something on the board. The problem is I can't draw. After they finish laughing at my feeble attempts, they're more willing to take a risk.
  9. 9.Peek over their shoulders as they work and validate something they've done. Too often, we mention only their mistakes. SCORE is successful because we try to catch them in what they do well. When they feel good about their strengths, they have the self esteem power to compensate for their weaknesses.
  10. 10.Be their surrogate parent. SCORE's Parent Component motto is "Every child deserves a pushy parent. If they don't have one, you're it!"

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