Our wonderful school is in a high poverty area in Chicago. My junior high students are polite, well mannered, hard-working students who come from good homes. Many of my students are diverse learners; many come from another country or are first-generation Americans. They all face challenges both in and out of the classroom. Despite their obstacles, my students come into my classroom eager to learn and do their best every day. These students are extremely diverse in terms of academic ability. This diversity is great, but as a teacher, it can be a challenge to reach all my students when they are at different levels academically. My goal is to make sure that all students, regardless of where they are academically, have all the tools they need to be successful and become lifelong learners. Each and every one of them has the potential to be successful. I want to equal the playing field for my students so they have all the tools necessary to excel in school and in life.
We know and understand that when students are at school they learn. However, all students don't receive the same push at home to make school a priority. There are just too many other things in their lives and our community that can sometimes be more important. Last year our attendance fell, so this year we want to begin a school-wide incentive program to encourage our middle school students to come to school everyday. Attendance incentives will be used as part of a comprehensive approach to reduce significant challenges to attendance. The bikes will help motivate students to come to school and also help them travel to and from school. The headphones and backpacks will also be raffled off also. All of our 600 middle school students with perfect monthly attendance will have their names submitted into a drawing to receive one of the eight prizes. All of the requested items will help to motivate students and increase attendance.
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