Helping Students Succeed
February 09, 2012
The best thing you can do to help students who are not performing up to standards is…teach. You have a responsibility to help all your students succeed, so you work as hard as you can during the hour(s) you have them.
Modify assignments if needed. Have a conference with each student who isn’t succeeding, repeatedly. Offer to help each student, and post on your board the hours you are available before and after school. Contact parents either by phone, email, or mail, and document all communication. Assign a grade of “P” if the student deserves it, and document all the work you’ve done with students who have an “F.” In other words, work as you never have before.
With at-risk students, collect their work at the end of the hour because it won’t come back tomorrow. No zeros. Review directly before a quiz, and give short quizzes often rather than tests. Build some rapport/trust with the students, then as time passes you'll be able to expect more and more. Plan the most fun lessons you can imagine for an entire week. Make them look forward to your class. Don’t sit down – stay up and move around the room assisting, opening textbooks, and providing materials without chastising.
Share your efforts with your principal often and in a positive light: “Here’s what I’m trying this week.” Ask for your principal’s guidance and suggestions. Ask for a mentor teacher if it’s your first year. It’s our job to help/reach every student, every year. Find a way to help them be successful.