From the Director’s Chair…
(Reflections from your Director of Education and Student Services)
It’s that time of year when you are getting to know the students well and classroom activities are in full swing! It was my pleasure to see you all at Back to School night…teachers and staff did a fantastic job in putting on informative and fun community evenings. In my rounds of your classrooms, I have been so impressed with the energetic teaching and nurturing atmosphere you are providing for your students. Try to get out and see your colleagues in action….I promise you won’t be disappointed with the fine teaching you will experience. Keep up the good work!
The district continues to experience change and growth. Keep posted for the new district website. Cesar is currently working very hard on the new format which I promise will be user friendly and informative!
Don’t forget to ask your principals about the district mini-grant if you have not already done so. We need you to apply…the possibilities are endless! Get creative and be sure to turn in your paperwork soon. The money is burning a hole in our pockets….we want award you the money for your classroom endeavors.
Curriculum ad hoc committees are being formed in English/Language Arts and Mathematics. These committees will be instrumental in evaluating curriculum and interpreting data. If you would like to be part of our district change cycle, then submit your name to your site principal immediately.
Welcome: The school year has begun, but the new staff just keeps on coming! We welcome to our AADUSD family Matthew Ingle, who is teaching Chemistry at VHS. It is great to have Matt on board as a Mustang! “Bienvenido” to Patricia Roposo-Reyes, Spanish teacher. She rounds out the foreign language department at VHS.
With the course offerings at VHS expanding, a second full time foreign language teacher is a first in the high school’s 17 year history. Welcome to our new faculty!
Kudos: As you are aware, our district-wide API scores have now been posted. All of our district teachers and staff have worked hard this year to help our students achieve on state standardized exams. Extra special congratulations are in order for Agua-Dulce Elementary School, with an amazing 49 point increase on their API! High Desert School shot up 28 points on their API. Great job! In addition, our elementary schools continue to hold API scores above the 800 mark. While we do not teach to the exams, I know that what you teach is being reflected in the scores.
I would also like to take the time to salute our instructional aides, who partner with our teaching staff. They are our side-by-side partners in education, and are indispensable to our classroom success. Be sure to take the time to thank them for their hard work in your classroom…
In working at the district office, it has been my privilege to work closely with our fantastic transportation department. Everyday our drivers continue to amaze me with their patience and concern for our students. Besides being one of the few districts in the area to still transport high school students, our drivers frequently “go beyond” in picking up and dropping off our students, especially our students who have special needs. So the next time you see one of our drivers, please acknowledge them with a wave in their direction!
Reader’s Corner: This month’s article (found on page 3) is designed to enhance your relationship with your students. Regardless of whether you teach elementary or secondary grades, very little can be accomplished by a teacher who possesses no rapport with students. However, keep in mind respectful limits: teachers who seek too much personal information are seen as unprofessional. It is fine line we walk, but that is one of the aspects which makes teaching a difficult profession. Enjoy the article, and have a wonderful month! Happy fall!
With Fond Regards,
SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE WAYS TO BE A GREAT TEACHER
LOOKING TO REALLY CONNECT WITH YOUR STUDENTS? DON’T FORGET THESE TEN TIPS…
1) A Great Teacher Will Always Be There- If you are not in your classroom, you are not teaching. Yes, teachers must take days off occasionally, but do not make it a habit. If you are feeling a little sick, unless it is serious, show up! A sick regular teacher is ten times better for his or her students than a sub is. Regular attendance is a must! Be proud to have a perfect attendance record!
2) A Great Teacher is Accessible- You need to help your students frequently. That means before school, during lunch, and after school. No, you do not have to do it all the time. Start out with something like two days a week before school, lunch, and after school. You are the best tutor your students can have. Teach them!
3) Great Teachers Know Their Students on a Personal Basis- Talk to them during lessons. What is their favorite music? TV? Movies? Talk to them in the hallways. The more you know about your students, the more rapport you will have with them. It is easy to converse during class time. Little comments between concepts can go a long way. If some show up early for class, take the time to talk with them. No class time? Pass out a questionnaire. Above all, learn their names quickly!
4) A Great Teacher Knows Many Parents- Get phone numbers. Make two calls a day to parents. If you can, make more. They do not need to be long. Just a short hello and that you are interested in their child. In just a short time, you can indeed make contact to at least one parent of each student. Parents can be your biggest supporters! Students will perform and behave better if they know you are talking to their parents.
5) A Great Teacher Knows What They are Teaching- If you do not know what you are doing, how can you teach? Complete preparation shows that you care for your students and your profession.
6) A Great Teacher Attends School Events- Make yourself seen at school sports and performances. You don’t have to attend every event, but make it a point to attend one event per school quarter. Being seen in this setting shows students that you care about their achievements and interests outside of the classroom.
7) A Great Teacher Lives in or Visits the Neighborhood- If you do not live in the same neighborhood as your school, make some visits on weekends. Go to a local place to eat. Shop at a local store. Many of your students may have parents who own local businesses. Patronize the local businesses. The more your students see you, the more they will be willing to behave in class.
8 ) A Great Teacher Eats Lunch on Campus- Wander around at lunch and sit at a student table. Buy a school lunch and join them. Many students help sell food. Make a point to buy something. Lunchtime can be a great time to connect with your students.
9) A Great Teacher is Always Fair- Expect the best, but be flexible. Fairness does not have to mean leniency; it simply means to grade your students on a balanced scale. Do not play favorites! Be fair in all aspects of teaching and treat students the way you expect them to treat you.
10) Great Teachers Never lose Their Cool- Bite your tongue. All things will pass. Never carry a grudge. Things in your classroom will happen. Expect that they will and be proactive. Acting like a raving lunatic is a sure way to shorten your career. Never forget that a teacher is a role model…always act in a professional manner!