I teach 90 students. This is their first year in our charter school, which is a founding campus. Our goal is to give students of the community more opportunities in their life, whether that is college or other professional endeavors. In my classroom, we're learning about American History through a historical fiction narrative. Students are reading novels and primary documents instead of textbooks. They are engaging in themes that are relevant to current events such as, how can we full inform ourselves about the past? what is at risk if we do not fully inform ourselves? Are our sources trustworthy?
My students defy all expectations that society has set for them.
They work to impress me every day, often teaching me more life lessons than I am able to teach them.
This year I am teaching at a founding middle school, which means that students and teachers have never before been a part of this campus. Students must work extra hard to create their identity of what it means to be a community member of our campus. Our stakes are high! They not only need to embody the mission of our campus but live this identity inside and outside the classroom. My project is to "incentive-ize" this momentum through a sweet treat! These treats will be used to reward those who are meeting their academic goals, being good teammates, showing kindness and respect, and focused on a growth mindset. While it seems that students should just "automatically" do this without reward, our circumstances are different from many other schools, which makes these expectations more challenging. They are setting the academic and cultural climate for future generations of our school, and should be rewarded for their efforts!
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