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Educators talk about responding to all students

“I believe that my choice of words can have an enormous impact on my students. I have found that it is not always easy to say the right thing when faced with a difficult or frustrating situation. However, it is the way I speak to my students in these moments that determine whether they are cooperative or resistant. I have found that there are several phrases that I can use with my students that promote motivation. They also encourage and build responsibility. These phrases include: 'Please check yourself..., Next time…, I really like the way…, I see…, Please make a different choice..., What is your job right now..., It looks like you have a problem...,  How can I help you solve it?' When I speak to my students in this way I notice that they become more responsible for their actions.  They also have a deeper respect for not just me as the teacher but their classmates and school community as a whole.”

--Michelle Prior – Title One math/literacy teacher

“When responding to a child’s question, break the question down to its simplest base. Lead the child into what they are looking for and make them meet you half way. When you feel the child is comfortable, pass the buck to them. Use guidance through the next steps but make sure the child is doing the work. The last thing you want to do is enable the child into thinking you will be able to help them with every bump they hit. It’s very important to stress personal responsibility and make sure you are teaching children how to do their own problem solving. Don’t teach children to constantly rely on your help and both you and the student will be better off.”

--Chris Hansen – Elementary music teacher

“Responding to students encompasses much more than simply the words that you say to them. Many times, teachers will be so focused on teaching the content, they ignore the many physical and emotional needs that are visually evident throughout the day. As teachers, we must be sensitive to these needs before we address their academic needs. If they are restless, give them a wiggle break. If they seem moody, maybe they need a smile or a hug. If they are hungry, they might just need a cracker. We must respond accordingly so that they know we care and so they are able to learn at their highest potential.”

--Detta Wilson – 2nd-grade teacher