IGNITE Fall 2018 - Page 3

5 WAYS TO HAVE A PERSONALLY & PROFESSIONALLY REWARDING SCHOOL YEAR As educators, we always seek ways to make school more engaging and exciting for students — but what about ourselves? Stay motivated and inspired this semester by following these 5 simple tips. by Laura Blaich A former AOPS teacher, today Laura is a California-based Certified Educational Therapist, National Board-certified teacher, and learning specialist serving students in grades 3 to 6. She taught at St. Margaret School in Narberth from 2006 to 2010. 1: Partner with parents Kick off the semester by sending parents a message introducing yourself, expressing your excitement, and inviting them to reach out. This helps establish a strong parent-teacher relationship — and makes it easier to connect if issues arise. 2: Point out the positives Every week, send two parents an email describing something positive their children accomplished, such as helping a classmate or participating in class. Parents will be encouraged, and you’ll find it rewarding to notice and highlight positive behavior. 3: Turn the tables It’s all too easy to get stuck in your schedule and lesson plans. Enrich your own soul by taking a professional development course or workshop, online or in person. Check to see if your school can cover course costs with funds for professional development. 4: Collaborate with colleagues To ward off isolation, team up with other teachers who work in complementary subject areas. Creating a collaborative project can enhance your teaching with new ideas and perspectives — deepening students’ experiences in the process. 5: Bond over books Participate in a book club for educators — or start your own! There are countless resources exploring pedagogies, curricula, learning differences, and other teaching topics. It’s a rewarding way to open yourself to new research, ideas, and partnerships. 3