Kids love to talk, but they struggle with having a conversation; one where both people feel heard and can walk away feeling respected. That’s what I noticed in my classroom when I decided to make a change, a change from a teacher-centered classroom to a student-centered one.
“It’s so boring!”
“I don’t even understand what my third grader is doing in math!”
“That’s not how Mrs. Solano does it!”
“It takes us three hours to do it, and we end up just giving up and going to bed angry.”
The House System was one of the many strategies I observed at the Ron Clark Academy and immediately knew I wanted to implement it in my classroom. The system encouraged friendly competitions, school spirit, and a comradery that was built as students strived to help each other succeed.
When a child constantly talks about a teacher with respect and admiration, it’s usually a good indication that the teacher is pretty special. So Michael Frick, Director of the Florida Prepaid College Program, feels doubly blessed that both of his children hold some of their teachers in such high esteem.
Encourage: to give support, confidence, or hope to someone.
Each year, I choose a word to focus on as I strive to achieve my personal and professional goals, and for 2018 – my last as Florida’s Education Commissioner – I have chosen “encourage.”