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  • Writer's pictureStudent Ambassadors

I Wish My Teacher Knew...

Over the summer, the student ambassadors read I Wish My Teacher Knew by Kyle Schwartz—a book that compiles a list of advice for teachers to practice to make their classroom a better environment for their students. After reading this book of teaching tips, we compiled a list from the book on how to be a better teacher!

Welcome and Farewells:

  • When welcoming a new student, give them a task and an assigned seat so they feel like they belong

  • Make students welcome kits

  • Have your whole class participate when welcoming and saying farewell to a student

Students and Poverty:

  • Be aware of students' particular needs

  • Have food drawers and coat closets for students to go to when they are hungry or need a coat (this can be a school-wide effort)

  • Establish community supplies for students to use when they are unable to have their own

All Families Count:

  • Be mindful of the language you use when describing a family. Be inclusive in your words and family related activities

  • Involve students' families in projects like a family tree

Grief and Loss:

  • Understand and recognize the symptoms of grief and that grief does not come solely from death but can come from trauma

  • Create memory books for students who have lost a loved one. Memory books can have pictures, notes, information, and other things about the person that passed

  • Create a memorial or other grief rituals to support the student through their grieving process

Students in Danger:

  • Understand and recognize the symptoms of abuse

  • Be empathetic and help students regulate their emotions

  • Help students recognize their allies inside and outside of school

  • Become an ally

Value-Driven Classrooms:

  • Teach moral characteristics and model what they look like

  • Have a character rubric for students to reflect on what they need to work on to have good character

Self Efficiency:

  • Model optimism and not pessimism

  • Model positive affirmations and keep your students in a positive attitude

  • Do not label others or yourself!

Student Engagement:

  • Build relationships with your students

  • When students feel connected and supported, they will be more motivated to do schoolwork

To learn where to buy this book, click here.

To meet with an ambassador, click here.

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