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Posted by on in Classroom Management

student public speaking

Public speaking is a skill every student develops--but not everyone does so with confidence. Although speaking publicly has become a notion that is scary in nature, teachers rarely express its use after graduation and beyond. Whether you are giving a toast to celebrate one’s success, or you take on a career role that implements speaking at public events, public speaking is a useful tool in every aspect of life. Allow your students to embrace public speaking with stellar confidence by using these vital techniques below.

Highlight the Student’s Strengths

Positive feedback is always appreciated. Instead of focusing on a student’s weaknesses, celebrate their successful parts of public speaking. This can be something small, such as consistent eye contact, or even a larger public speaking element like voice inflection. By focusing on a student’s strengths, you will reaffirm their capabilities and allow them to evoke more self-confidence in the future.

Create a Friendly and Relaxing Atmosphere

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

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I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy. — Marie Curie

Translation: If you want things to change, get your ass off the couch and do the work.

That's what Marie did. In a world full of men unwilling to accept a woman, an atheist, and a person who followed her heart, she had to work her ass off to overcome the sexism and xenophobia of her times.

In 1911, just before receiving her Nobel Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences asked Marie not to come to Stockholm, so King Gustav V would not be subjected to shaking hands with an adulteress.

Of course, she went to accept the award in person. That was her second Nobel. She was the first ever woman to receive one, and the first ever person to receive two. She discovered radium and polonium and coined the term radioactivity. She earned many prestigious awards, honors, and posts for her work.

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Posted by on in Social Emotional Learning

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I became an educator because I wanted to impact the lives of students in the same ways that my teachers did for me. See, I owe so much to the educators who invested their time, care, and love in me. They saw something in me and never gave up, no matter how many reasons I gave them to do so (believe me, they had PLENTY of reasons).

What I never expected was the impact that my students would have on me as a person. Not one day has passed where I have not been in awe of at least one of my students. I have seen high levels of excellence in academics, athletics, arts, and other areas. I have witnessed students overcoming the highest odds stacked against them to overcome and be successful. I have worked with so many kids who deal with things that would make the average person crumble into pieces.

To say that my students inspire me on a daily basis is an understatement. They reinforce my why for being an educator every single day. They challenge me to be the absolute best that I can. They are the reason I decided to move into the realm of politics. They have unknowingly become my motivation and are the inspiration behind the Our Future First movement.

Over the years, we have been through a lot. I remember an 8th grade class being very upset about remarks that their building principal made during an awards assembly. When they came back to our room, they suggested writing a letter and having the entire 8th grade sign it. They dictated the letter to me as I typed it for them. They distributed it to their peers and explained the cause. They presented it to the their principal. This was all them, with some positive encouragement from me to do what they thought was right and just.

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Posted by on in School Culture

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We didn’t do anything.

 

She transferred here from a different school. I don’t know why. She was mostly quiet, but it was not difficult to get a smile out of her. She said she wasn’t good in science, but was killing it in chemistry, perhaps the hardest science of all. I’d like to think that in the 3 months I knew her, I reached her and got to know her a little.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

Twenty years ago.

Twenty years ago, I set foot in my first classroom. I remember it like it was yesterday. And just as much, I can vividly recall the high level of accountability I had.

For myself.

As a new teacher, I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. Every. Detail. Mattered. The signage that adorned the classroom door that greeted "my" students. The arrangement of the books in the classroom library, desks, tables, and learning centers. Bulletin boards, posters, and name tags. 

The lesson and unit plans for the day, week, and month to come. All carefully scripted, nearly to the word, for that fateful first day - the day I had been waiting for since being offered that first opportunity, to make an impact on the lives of children.

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