Sometimes that is easier said than done, especially in education. My analogy for this is Chocolate Cake--and why not? Everyone (or 99.2% of the folks I know) likes chocolate cake! Recently, this simple and very old recipe from my mother-in-law got lost in my recipe box. It was overtaken by the Chocolate-Orange cake, the Hello Dollies, the Earthquake cake and then there was the Better than Sex cake. I have begun working to bring back some simplicity to both my and my family’s lives. At a recent family gathering, I made the “simple chocolate cake” with chocolate icing, and OH MY how everyone loved it, especially my 15 month-old grandbaby who devoured every crumb he could cram in his mouth and still ended up having much to spare smeared on his body!
What good practices have you had to put aside for all the newly-named, "popular" ideas/mandates that have been integrated into your curriculum & classroom? Bring them back! By holding your students to high standards while teaching & nurturing, everything else (theoretically) should fall into place. When students are engaged, classroom management takes care of itself. When students gain the confidence (with your high expectations) to engage in the rich lesson you have prepared, learning occurs. And when you build those relationships through nurturing, you will recognize those of your students who will need remediation before asking them to do the “at grade level” work. This way, you have set them up for success rather than failure.
I know keeping all of those items in mind can be easier said than done, but I truly believe if you can keep your directions simple, provide lessons that meet all learners' needs and remember why you chose this profession, then life truly does become simple and solutions become the norm.
Here’s to Chocolate Cake!