1. We have to constantly adapt to meet students' needs in order to ensure their success.
2. Allow students to do the majority of the work as in doing, thinking, and speaking.
3. Provide students with multiple opprounities for practice.
4. Empower students to believe in themselves.
5. Involve and collaborate with teachers, families, and community members in the learning journey.
Building a college going culture starts at elementary school. In the classroom I often named my rotation centers after local universities/college in order for students to gain familiarity and interest in higher education. While this a small practice, it become a daily part of the classroom. I have shared this practice with our teachers at Joe May. Many teachers have loved the idea! As a result, I am proud to share that one of our young novice teachers decided to name his computer lab rows after local universities/college. The students were excited to have their seating arrangement after college/universities!
I am a big believer in providing students multiple opportunities for practice. In the book Outliers by Malcolm Galdwell, the author proposes that 10,000 hours of practice is the critical minimum level of practice for excellence at performing complex tasks. While the number is debatable, the idea that practice is vital for success is significant. Educators should embrace the idea since it can have a positive impact on students' learning. As a result, teachers should design their classroom and daily instruction to include multiple opportunities for practice. Here is a excellent example from our school where the classroom is designed for students to gain multiple opportunities for practice in representing numbers.
We accept children as we receive them at the school doors. Sometimes students arrive to school academically underperforming. We must accept it by moving forward. We move forward by not assigning fault, looking for a scapegoat to blame, or providing excuses. We move forward with by what I call "Owning It". In other words taking responsibility to provide instruction that catches students up to grade level. It will not be easy however it starts to be possible when we disregard fault, blame, and excuses to why students are performing low. At Joe May Elementary, many of our students arrived academically low. We are moving forwarding by owning it. Thank goodness for Kid President pep talks since we need every bit of motivation to remain persistent and focused as the school year progresses.
I decided to share some old blog post from my previous teacher blog. Here are some highlights for the 2015-2016 school year.
I strongly believe in my district’s former core beliefs. At school and in my life, I model and represent the core beliefs by how I think, say and do. However, in order to be believe these core beliefs as a teacher,one has to believe it first as a person. When you meet me in any setting, these core beliefs will shine through since I believe in them with my heart, mind and actions.
Fernando Rubio Jr. is a transformational education leader with one purpose: transforming lives by closing the achievement gap in public urban schools in order to set up students for life long success.