As student’s trickle back into freshly decorated classrooms, laughter fills the halls, and August 2019 comes barreling to an end...it can only be one time of year: Back To School. For the 2019-2020 school year, let’s go out on a limb! Let’s try a few new things. Let’s paint a bathroom door, teach meditation instead of detention, and play with legos in math class!Let’s implement some unique, uplifting, exciting and new strategies this year, because kids deserve it. Not sure which you want to try out? Here are 9 new strategies that we know will bring some smiles to everyone involved.
- Remember. Every name on your class list is an opportunity to change the world. Every name is the future leader of the free world! Every name is the next world famous ballerina, astronaut, clothing designer, theoretical physicist, and more. Every name, and its pronunciation, matters.
- Teach bold lessons. Take it from one teacher who turned the Salem Witch Trials into lifelong lessons, from remaining unified to that age-old adage about assumptions: bringing unique stories and even more unique delivery will ensure that what you’re trying to teach really “hits home.”
- Be unwaveringly empathetic. We all have tough days. Maybe we just got up on the wrong side of the bed, maybe we’re fighting with our parents or our best friend, or maybe something truly devastating happened at home. Maybe we just need a 5-minute break to get back on track. Students are no different. Check out how this teacher is showing empathy in the simplest of ways.
- Meditate. After one school decided to teach mindfulness and meditation instead of detention, their attendance rates increased and suspension rates decreased. Imagine that! Showing love and teaching patience, in return to being challenged by a student, had a positive outcome. We hope this becomes best practice in schools across the nation.
- Get creative! Inspire excitement, happiness, creativity, and maybe even teamwork (if y’all decide to create the door together!) by decorating your classroom doors. You can change the look and feel of the classroom by the season, by the lesson, or even just because! (Puns are highly encouraged.)
- Get Messy. Crafts aren’t just for the tiny ones. Humans of every age love to get crafty, creative, and a little bit messy! Whether you take these ideas as is or you mold them to fit the brilliant lessons you’re going to teach this year, we hope you get your hands a little dirty!
- Play with toys. Sometimes it takes a little outside-the-box thinking to make a genuine connection from a lesson to a brain. Sometimes we have to make a funny sentence (My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine...Pizzas?), sing a song with all of the tenses of a verb to remember it, or even play with legos in math class.
- Love the skin you’re in. Reminding students that they are unique is one thing, but taking time on the first day to mix up customized hues of paint to use as skin tones throughout the year? That’s a whole other ball game, friends. Representation matters.
- Remind students that they’re perfect as they are. Check out how this school reminds middle school students that although things are hard and growing up is scary, they’re loved and cared for and important. Being a 7th grader can be tough, but seeing these inspirational messages every day can make a huge impact. If you don’t want to hand paint (or use stencils), you can order these awesome decals!
What are some inspiration and unique strategies you’re interested in implementing this year?