If you can hear my voice say "Heard it!" .... HEARD IT!!!
Awesome, wonderful! Let's get started now that I have your kind attention.
My fellow teachers, colleagues and I at Citizen Schools New Jersey are embarking on a fundraising mission to support the continuous success of our committed and effective extended learning day program.
Please join our cause and contribute to the support and success of our students both at Louise A. Spencer, as well as our partner schools MLK Elementary and Ivy Hill.
Feel free to read a short story I wrote about one of my students:
I knew, from the first exchange I had with Danaisha, that I had a real challenge on my hands. Defiant, dramatic and loud... Danaisha was a true diva. She still is. Despite my initial best efforts to regain control over my classroom from her, Danaisha seemed to always come out on top. I was truly exhausted from our tug-o-war sessions, and days ending with both of us unwilling to budge. I even had her grandmother's number on speed dial.
Yet, my uphill battle with Danaisha started slowing down when I took an alternative approach: recognizing her potential as a class leader. Why not use her power and influence over students for good? As soon as I assigned Danaisha leadership roles in class, and expressed my gratitude for her contribution to classroom management, I saw a change in her... a positive transformation. Danaisha took pride in the fact that I looked up to her to be a class leader, and that I held her accountable to be responsible and a good role model. Instead of our previous routine of glares and eye rolling, our exchanges turned into air 'high-fives' and smiles.
Dealing with Danaisha taught me a valuable lesson: My role as a teacher is not to control students but, instead, to work with them in a partnership so that they can reach their highest potential as both students and young adults. I'm not saying my relationship with Danaisha is perfect, her diva attitude does roar its ugly head every once in awhile. The difference now is that, despite her hiccups and instances of misbehavior, I haven't given up on her as a potential leader of tomorrow.