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Eight Things Teachers Can Do to Help Students Succeed

Fostering Student Success

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Student success should be each teacher's number one priority. Success can be measured in many ways. For some students, success will be getting a good grade in your class. For other students, success might be increased involvement in class or improved grades. Teachers must help each student attain their full potential, no matter how success is measured. Following are a number of strategies that teachers can employ to help achieve this.

1. Have High Expectations

It is important that you cultivate an academic environment in your classroom. A huge part of this is setting high, but not impossible, expectations for your students. If you set your sights higher, you have a greater chance of achieving more. Students will rise to the occasion. Even if they do not hit as high of a standard as you set, they will still benefit and achieve more than if you had little or no expectations.

2. Create Effective Classroom Procedures to Keep Disruptions to a Minimum

One of the key ways to help young children behave at home is to create an effective and consistent schedule for them to follow. Without this type of structure, young children often end up misbehaving. Secondary school students are no different. While classroom procedures often take a bit of time and effort to implement at the beginning of the school year, once established they create a structure that allows teachers to focus on teaching rather than possibly disruptive minor issues.

3. Continually Grow in Your Profession

New ideas and research that can enhance your day-to-day teaching becomes available each year. Keeping up with the latest information through online forums, workshops, and professional journals can make you a better teacher. This in turn will lead to more student interest and greater student success. In addition, teaching the same lessons each school year can become monotonous over time. This can result in uninspired teaching. Students will definitely pick up on this and become bored and distracted. Including new ideas and teaching methods can make a huge difference.

4. Help Students Move Up Through Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom's taxonomy provides teachers with a great tool that they can use to measure the complexity of their homework assignments and exams. Writing questions in the knowledge and comprehension levels of the taxonomy is quite easy. This level of questions forms the majority of most assessments given by classroom teachers. Because the answers do not require much more than simple recall, students really don't internalize learning. However, moving students up the pyramid and requiring them to apply, analyze, evaluate and synthesize information will result in an increased use of critical thinking skills and a greater chance for authentic learning.

5. Vary Your Instructional Techniques

When you vary teaching methods, you provide students with a greater opportunity to learn. Every student has different learning style strengths and weaknesses. Instead of just focusing on one or possibly two methods that only appeal to one learning style, varying teaching techniques allows you to include parts to each lesson that focus on all three learning styles. Further, students will be more successful if they are not bored. Varying instructional techniques can help keep students interested in your class.

6. Apply Effective Classroom Management Skills

Students will have a hard time succeeding in a disruptive environment. Create an effective discipline plan based on easy-to-understand classroom rules. Make sure to fairly and consistently enforce your plan every day. Students will quickly realize that your class is a place of learning.

7. Be Transparent With Students About How to Succeed

How to succeed in your class should be easy for all students to understand. You should provide students with a syllabus at the beginning of the year that explains your grading policies. If you assign a complicated or subjective assignment such as an essay or a research paper, make sure to give students a copy of your rubric beforehand. If students participate in science labs, make sure that they understand exactly how you will be grading their participation and their work.

8. Truly Believe in Your Students and Want Them to Succeed

This might seem obvious but every teacher should do a gut check at times about their own beliefs concerning the students in their class. Are there any students we have written off? Are there students who are difficult to reach or who just don't seem to care? Students can sense your feelings about them so be very careful with your own beliefs.
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