My Geek Philosophy
Design by Sam Suppa
My work centers on the principal idea that when we have three components in place, learning happens. These three separate building blocks are relationships, engagement and systems. Even though I submit to the "cafeteria-style philosophy" of implementing resources and strategies, all of my work in coaching and consulting is rooted in these three areas.
Student Engagement is the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education.
When I talk about engagement, I'm not talking about performing magic tricks, juggling fire and turning the classroom into an entertainment venue. I'm talking about lighting the spark that interests or inspires a student to actually learn. This isn't about us being entertainers. It's about us connecting them to the learning in a meaningful way. Engagement looks different for every student. How do we know what will engage our students? We ask them. We get to know them. Which leads me to...
Positive teacher-student relationships promote a sense of school belonging and encourage students to participate cooperatively. Students develop confidence to experiment and succeed in an environment where they are not restricted by the fear of failure. Teachers are able to assist students with motivation and goal setting, and students can turn to them for advice and guidance. Relationship building is one of the core tenets of CLRT.
Developing relationships is all about making your student know that you see them as a person, not as a face in the crowd, not as a demographic. It is about knowing their name, treating them with respect, talking to them as an individual and taking a genuine interest in who they are. Establishing positive relationships is about creating a safe, structured learning environment where students are comfortable and free to be themselves. Which brings me to...
Systems are a set of routines, rituals procedures and stated expectations. This is the "how to" manual for your environment. Students crave predictability and consistency. Research shows that student achievement is improved when students are actively focused on educational goals and this is made possible by establishing systems, both in the classroom and school-wide. When they know the system, when they understand how things work in their learning environment, it takes the pressure of having to guess at the norms and figure out the "how to." It frees them up to be themselves. To develop relationships with their peers and teachers and to engage in the learning to their highest potential. (See how that all ties together?)