Read the posts of these peers and respond to two other learners. When responding, offer suggestions that the learner might use to improve the area they identified. Remember, coaching colleagues is best done through positive interaction with practical examples.
I believe that my strength in fostering a psychology of success among my students is that I promote a sense of acceptance and belonging. I am unconditionally positive to all my students so that they feel that I really care. I use cooperative structures to promote interdependence when I assign them group projects like a mural promoting a book series. I love to watch them plan and execute. I rotate group leaders and scribes so that children will have opportunities to fill those roles. I immediately call children on negative self-talk or put-downs reminding children that they all have so much to offer and to trust that they can do the task. Each child is assessed privately and others have no indication of their success level from me. I enjoy using healthy competitions that are meant to get children to work as a team and I never give out rewards to the winners. Knowing that children are so unique, I try to appreciate those differences and even encourage them. “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” is a mantra that I use from time to time. I often times tell students that we learn from each other and I learn as much from them as they learn from me. And I give them opportunities to “teach” for example when we are reviewing math problems, I will have students come to the front and explain how they solved the problem to the class. I always request a specific explanation. “Think out loud” is another one of my mantras when they are sharing. I consistently work on building a sense of community by switching table groups each month and giving them opportunities to work with different students in reading groups and math centers.
My biggest challenge as a Conductor is trying to promote their internal Locus of Control. Although I do give them choices and I do not act as a dictator, I sometimes feel like I don’t have complete control if children are doing so many different things at once. I worry about those children that are not able to handle the autonomy and may act out because of it. I haven’t used rubrics too often, but I recognize the importance of them so that students will know what the clear expectations are. I do try to encourage students to put their best effort into tasks, but I want to spend more time complimenting them during the process and not just when the product is finished.
I believe I am most proficient at promoting a sense of acceptance and belonging within the classroom. I think its so important for students to feel wanted and believed in, especially in a learning environment. I feel empathetic towards students who struggle academically because growing up, I also struggled in school. Although I had supportive parents, I didn’t necessarily have teachers who went out of their way to make sure I was receiving accommodations and support. Not having support from my teachers really had an effect on my self-esteem and acceptance in the classroom.
Working with my students takes a lot of patience. All of them are on different social and emotional levels and sometimes need extra one-on-one time. It is crucial for my students to receive encouragement so they want to keep learning and enjoy being in school. I don’t become frustrated or annoyed if they need extra time to review their letters or numbers. I want my students to know that extra help will always be available to them.
I would like to improve promoting an internal locus of control within my students. I have mentioned before that my students don’t like to take responsibility when performing tasks in the classroom. It is beneficial for them to learn responsibility now while they’re young so they know how to make choices and accept consequences for those choices. Talking with my students about how to be responsible and praising them when that responsibility is present can be ways of improving this practice. Encouraging them to perform tasks on their own and accepting consequences can help develop independence.