… But, teaching these students are extraordinary circumstances requiring extraordinary efforts. Teachers need to not just try or work hard; they need to try the right things and work hard at effective practices. Teachers need to be using “high payoff” motivators, such as
- project-based learning,
- connecting with students,
- connecting learning to the community and the students’ lives,
- focusing on higher order thinking activities,
- learning by doing,
- making learning interesting, and
- involving students in designing their learning.
But moving teachers in this direction is a big effort. Teachers need more than informational workshops. They need good models, both the kind they can observe (videos or classroom observations), and the kind they can try out (model units/lessons). They need coaching and support. They need access to the right resources. And they need strong leadership that clearly expects this work and backs it up with how they supervise and evaluate teachers.