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Teach Like This!
Mr. Williams, a ninth grade math teacher, stands at the door each morning and greets students by name as they enter. He asks them about their lives and different extracurricular events they attend. He sponsors the math team and attends lots of different sports games and other school events to show his support of the students and his school.
If a student does not complete assignments or grades begin to drop, Mr. Williams refers back to the information sheet and has a conference with the student to discuss what is causing the lack of motivation. The relationship that he has spent time building allows the student to feel comfortable sharing thoughts and coming up with a plan of action to get back on track. This does not negate any consequences that the student must face, but Mr. Williams makes sure that the student feels supported in a safe environment.
Students do not need to view the teacher as a friend, but they do need to see the teacher as a mentor, role model, and most importantly, an advocate who cares about them as a whole person, not just academically. When students feel championed by their teacher, they will work harder and they will be motivated to perform well for you even when they don’t want it for themselves.