Ensuring Student Success in High School and Beyond
There are not a lot of things that I could say that I think would speak for almost is not all other educators but there is one for sure. That is, I want my students to succeed. Although success will look different for every one of the bodies that walks into, end eventually out of, my classroom door, I want it for each of them. It can be grueling to realize that this is not always the reality for all of my students, but there are some things I strive to do, and you can do to, to ensure that your students realize success in high school and beyond.
There are many things going through the mind of a high school student that don’t include the content or lesson that you have planned for the day. Acknowledge that. Care about what they care about. Ask him about his baseball game last night, let her tell you about the play that she is auditioning for, and listen to the ins and outs of that video game that he or she is really in to. These little things in passing go a long way. Establish rapport with your students. Let them know that you care. This is the first step in earning their respect and attention.
Clear Learning Objectives
Students thrive on clear organization and structure. Make sure that you provide this for them. Establish learning objectives throughout the course. This is how undergraduate classes are often presented. Prepare them for that while helping them to stay organized in their high school classes. Maintain a focus in each class period and practice consistency and variance in learning activities.
Help Them Help Themselves
Give them the tools to do well, but do not do it for them. Guide them to where they need to be. Students will be more successful later on if they had a teacher that taught them how to help themselves. When they have a question on a particular assignment, discuss it with them. Discover the answer together. Similarly as they prepare for life after high school, share with them stories about your own journey. Then, help them find scholarship/job opportunities and assist them with organizing and prioritizing tasks that need to be accomplished.
Be Enthusiastic About Your Teaching
Own it. Teach every single lesson as if you are the most passionate about what is in front of you. I know this isn’t the case. I am not a high poetry fan, but when I am studying poetry with my juniors, I am a regular lyricist and sonneteer. Trust me, they’re not buying it if you aren’t selling it. To engage the learners in your lesson, you have to be selling it.
Let Each Student Be Different
Success after high school will not be the same for every student. Accept that. Four year universities are not the only place to end up after high school. In fact, far from it. Let them flourish and discover what it is they are interested and then encourage and assist them in doing the things they need to do to get where they want to be.