Reflection: Trust and Respect Who Are We? Writing Cover Letters to Introduce Ourselves - Section 2: Generating Ideas through a Student Survey


Basically, I want students to provide me some information so I can be a more effective teacher.  If I know that a student is allergic to strong smells, I know I need to limit the amount of dry erase board use.  If I know that a student needs to sit close to the board, I can make seating charts that take that into account so every time I make a new seating chart, I don't hear "But Ms. DeVries! I have to sit in front!"

I also give this assignment to new students.  Just last year, a new student told me that he'd moved schools because he'd been bullied and that he had Aspergers. We never did get documentation from his parents, but that information allowed me to see his behavior in a different light. I had very few behavior problems with this student because I knew his background and I took the time to explain the rationale for If a new student comes and tells me that he/she has Asperger's, I have a heads up on possible behavior issues. Some of the information I ask for is silly, like who their favorite band is. It's all part of building relationships.

I ask for their birthday so I can record all their birthdays on my calendar.  On their birthday, I give them a pencil.  I don't make a huge deal out of the birthday pencils, but after awhile, they figure it out and look forward to receiving their birthday pencil. 

  How I Use the Surveys
  Trust and Respect: How I Use the Surveys
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Who Are We? Writing Cover Letters to Introduce Ourselves

Unit 1: Laying the Foundations: Teaching Routines, Procedures, and Expectations through Authentic Activities
Lesson 3 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to write introductory cover letters by generating ideas using a business letter template.

Big Idea: Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships. In order to teach rigorous and relevant lessons, the teacher must build a relationship with students.

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