Promoting Student Learning

Courtney Babyak, Katrina Graves and Veronica Long

Promoting student learning requires collaboration with many different stake holders. Building strong community, family, school and student relationships is necessary for educators. The overall school experience should be considered when thinking of education. Teachers need to be adept in many skills, including classroom management and collaboration. By considering education a whole experience, not just what is academically necessary, students will be promoted to learn.

Family Relationships

Collaborating with families can be challenging, however, it is a really important factor in promoting student learning. As educators, we need to understand the diversity of the families we interact with. Effectively communicating with families on a regular basis helps educators obtain valuable information, and helps parents understand how their student is doing. Often times parents are notified when something negative has occurred, or a teacher is concerned. Sharing positive information with families is necessary too.


Courtney Babyak

Student Relationships

Effectively communicating with students promotes learning in several ways. Providing students with regular feed back encourages accountability and confidence. When students feel supported and included, more engagement may be seen. Educators should be respectful to students when providing feedback, and also emphasize student strengths if they are struggling. Feed back should be given in different ways, as a class, individually and school wide.


Courtney Babyak

Classroom Management

Classroom management is, a unique way for teachers to describe the process of ensuring that classroom lessons run smoothly despite disruptive behavior by students. The term also implies the prevention of disruptive behavior. There are also many attributes that follow into classroom management that is very important for teachers and students. There were there different things that are very important. The attributes are establish relationship, creating a positive learning climate for students, and set up structure and procedures. Each of these are very important when we taking a look into classroom management foe a special education classroom. When looking at the first attribute establishing relationships with students. During this particular time us as educators we have to embrace the students even though sometimes they can be very challenging at times. Every student needs are maybe wants the love from you because at home it can be lacking. Students can also be in a bad environment at home but comes to school for that outlet. They can also be struggling with acceptance as well. This can lead to them not being social with others, you can show them that people do believe in them and also cares about them. This can also effect the different choices that they make whether to disrupt in your class. As for the second attribute creating a positive learning climate. This a part of classroom management that is very essential for students, because you can use this method proactively within the classroom to manage it. You can also use this to establish a climate that reassure learning. We as teachers need to know the different needs of the students whether it be intellectually, emotionally, and physically and social needs of our students so we can meet their different special needs. Also during these particular time we should also see students as being individually unique from one another. We also can put their IEP’s into play when looking at the different goals and objectives that they may have for the different learning needs within the classroom. Climate learning, can also help with group work, seating arraignments, and pair work. If we have these different patterns in our classrooms we can use this as a second nature to help students learn better. Lastly we take a look at set up structure and procedures. Structure and procedures are vital parts of classroom management. Every part of the day needs to be thought through and brought into alignment with what works best for your teaching style, your students’ personalities, the age group and any special challenges that could cause a distraction. Start planning as soon as you see the classroom. Envision each class; ask yourself what you will do and how it can be done easily. When your students arrive, get them on board by teaching classroom procedures, along with your content, during the first week of class.


Veronica Long

Teacher Collaboration

There are many different way can be helpful on the classroom when teaching exceptional children. In a classroom that has co-teaching is a huge way to assist the children’s different needs. It is also a way for teaching to understand the different learning levels of each student. When we take a look at the five different common instructional models of cooperative teaching we find that is great tool and of good value. The first model is known as one teach, one observe. In this particular model the one teacher presents the instruction to the entire class while the other is walking around. The second teacher also collects different evidence on a particular group of student, or direct behaviors across the total class such as a creative use of free time. The second type of model in class one teach, one support, both individuals are present but the other teacher takes the instructional lead while the other delivers support within the classroom and aid to the learners. As for the special education teacher of the classroom is not supposed to act like the assistance to the students. The third type of teaching model is station teaching, the curriculum is distributed into two or more subdivisions and presented in a diverse kind of way enclosed in altered sites of the classroom. In this type of co-teaching the students are in groups. In the groups this is where the teachers present a certain part of the lesson. This is also a way for student to grasp the information better as well as hands on learning. You can break them up and put them into small groups deliver the information and see if they understand. If so have them work self-sufficiently or with a “learning partner” to understand and evaluate the material. The fourth model of co-teaching is parallel teaching, which helps to lower the teachers- pupil ratio. This also instructed by planning a jointly with each teacher. The way of teaching is an organization of importance, along with lends to drill and repetition activities or developments that involve close teacher supervision. As for the last co-teaching strategy alternative teaching, is a great tool for small group instruction. This teaching models is a great tools for instruction within small groups in the classroom. Teachers used can use this for remediation purposes as well. Alternative teaching, is an equal and appropriate way of improving activities in a depth study.

Co-teaching, in a special education classroom is defiantly a great tool and resource. I really love the different teaching techniques for co-teaching. I would do a lot of these strategies to see how the classroom will function with this great tool.

Collaborative Teaching Benefits to Students

  1. Students with disabilities are provided access to the general education curriculum and general education setting.
  2. Students with disabilities will still receive specialized instruction
  3. Students will have the opportunity to be taught in an intense, individualized manner
  4. Greater instructional intensity and differentiated instruction
  5. We as educators will learn from each other’s expertise and expand the scope of their teaching capacity
  6. Reduces negative stigma associated with pull-out programs
  7. Students with disabilities may feel more connected with their peer group

Collaborative teaching Benefits to Teachers

1. Having two minds facilitate a classroom community allows students to connect with different personalities.

2. Co-teaching allows more opportunities for small group and one-to-one learning, and stronger modeling during lessons.

3. The co-planning process encourages two teachers to bounce ideas off each other in order to deliver the strongest, most creative lessons.

4. Using partnerships to model behavior and positive peer-to-peer interaction for students.

5. When students experience their teachers working together, they understand the power of respect amongst peers.

6. Teaching is sometimes overwhelming, but having co-teaching in the classroom can arrange a support system so that we can be the educator we need to be.


Veronica Long

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School Relationships

In Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships (2007) the authors have identified four core beliefs of educators, principals, district leaders and other school as a foundation for successful family engagement efforts across the nation.

All parents have dreams for their children and want the best for them.

  • All families can and do have a positive effect on their children’s learning.
  • Families of all cultural backgrounds, education and income levels encourage their children, talk with them about school, help them plan for higher education, and keep them focused on learning and homework.

All parents have the capacity to support their children's learning.

  • Regardless of how little formal education they may have or what language they speak, all parents can contribute to their children’s learning.
  • All parents have “funds of knowledge” about their children and the community that should be respected and tapped by school staff.

Parents and school staff should be equal partners.

  • The relationships between school staff and parents are commonly built on a lopsided

power base; instead the power should be shared.

  • Every person who is interested in supporting children’s development should have

equal status, value and responsibility.

The responsibility for building partnerships between school and home rests primarily

with school staff, especially school leaders.

  • To create a climate and culture that supports partnership with parents, strong

leadership is essential from district leaders, principals and teachers.

  • School leaders must provide the resources, energy and leadership to implement and

sustain partnership programs.

Administrators and teachers can create a culture of partnership by modeling their beliefs, in both words and deeds to the entire school community.

The more the relationship between families and the school is a real partnership, the more student achievement increases. When schools engage families in ways that are linked to improve student learning, students make greater gains. When families are engaged in positive ways, rather than labeled as problems, schools can be transformed from places where only certain students prosper to one where all children do well.


Katrina Graves

Community Relationships

A critical concept for school leaders and staff interested in improving school-familycommunity connections to improve student learning is to understand there are many ways schools can link with families and community members. It is important to also realize that different connections will have different results. Developing powerful and effective connections between schools, families and communities is hard work. Fundraising campaigns and efforts to promote student learning increase resources and improve classroom support, but these efforts will have little impact on improving student learning. Therefore it is important for schools to expand the idea of “parent involvement,” and recognize different ways families and community groups can be involved and to understand the kind of impact those connections will make. Most educational leaders and staff understand the importance of engaging families and communities to support school improvement efforts. Unfortunately for many school districts, true family and community connection remains a challenge. Too often, beliefs, attitudes and fears inhibit the ability for families and schools to join together to support children’s learning.


Katrina Graves

Resources

Student and Family Relationships

Aguilar, E. (2016). 20 Tips for developing positive relationships with parents. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org


The parent-teacher partnership. (2003-2016). Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org


Classroom Management and Teacher Collaboration

Gargiulo, R. (n.d.). Special Education in Contemporary Society (5th ed., p. 712). SAGE Publications


http://www.friendshipcircle.org


http://nea.org


www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/career.../stepping_stones2.pdf


http://www.specialeducationguide.com/pre-k-12/behavior-and-classroom-management/classroom-management-7-tips-from-an-experienced-teach


School Relationships

Henderson, A. T., Johnson, V., Mapp, K. L., & Davies, D. (2007). Beyond the bake sale: The essential guide tofamily/school partnerships. New York, NY: New Press.


Community Relationships

Mapp, K. L. (2003). Having their say: Parents describe why and how they are engaged in their children’s learning. The School-Community Journal, 13(1), 35-64.