Wednesday, August 27, 2014

If it’s September, it must be "back to school" time!

The summer holidays are finishing. The days seem to pass quicker as they are getting shorter. The suitcases are cleaned and stored in the box room. Clothes, the school bag, a new pen drive, some pens, folders, my new teacher notebook... The leisure has been changed by frenetic afternoons doing some “back to school shopping”. Even, a new agenda has been bought and It is been already filled with plans for the “back to school” initial days.

This will be my 35th year as a teacher, and my 50th following these end of summer rituals since I was a mere a six year’s old boy.

 "Back to school" routines have been a part of my life for most of my Augusts… as a student, a dad, a teacher, a school principal, a teacher trainer...

"These rituals before the first day of school represent something of a rebirth. It offers an opportunity for new experiences, new relationships, new knowledge, and new skills for all of us who walk the halls of schools".

For most of us, these routines bring excitement and happiness. But for some students, these are days of anxiety and angst. They are children who are confident and competent on holidays, summers, and school vacations, but are frightened and frustrated when they enter the classroom. They learn differently than the other children: instructions, “show and tell” activities, oral reading, class discussions... confuse, panic, terrify, frustrate, humiliate them!

No matter where you teach, you will have some of these children in your class this year. You have had them in past years. You will have them in the future.

Every school year we have more and more children like these. They consume lots of our energies and time to find resources for them. They deserve we deal more effectively and sensitively with their learning, because they don’t learn, they need to be taught.

I hope this school year (here in my blog) I can offer you some resources, practices, best teaching ideas and projects to cope with diversity in our classroom.

Learning a new language, a second or a foreign language, is not as easy as it seems. All of us have once experienced how terrifying can be speaking in a different language in front of an audience and how stressful it is not to find the right words as we are short of vocabulary! 

Diversity in the classroom...

We need to make students with special needs feel warm, welcome, confident, and wanted. 

This is a great effort but it is worth doing it! 
... a wonderful opportunity for creativity!

Some thoughts and ideas inspired from Rick Lavoie "September Thoughts: Reflections on a New School Year" July 2008 in

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