English Language Arts
Students and Caregivers, Welcome!
Here's what you need to know...
In all the research that has been done on “visible learning’--how we know if students are really getting what we teach--scholars examined 256 influences that affect student achievement. By far, the number one influence is Collective Teacher Efficacy (not what age a kid started walking or talking, or if they passed their 3rd grade reading test, or live in wealth or poverty or in between).
Collective Teacher Efficacy: the collective belief of the staff of the school in their ability to positively affect students. CTE has been found to be strongly, positively correlated with student achievement. A school staff that believes it can collectively accomplish great things is vital for the health of a school, and if they believe they can make a positive difference then they very likely will. (Hattie, 2016)
Students and caregivers, I assure you of these three things
We are that staff.
This is that school.
And we believe we will accomplish great things.
I am Mrs. McMath. I have the honor of leading out in reading, writing, and all things literacy related for your seventh grade year. As the leader of this classroom, I will do my best to hold tightly to the following:
- Create safety: I will work preventatively and actively to make this classroom a safe place for every learner.
- Speak with grace: I will lead with language that assumes the best in every student and caregiver.
- Build trust: I will not take for granted the huge honor I have of caring for this child. I will not assume just by bearing the title Teacher that I will be respected. We will work together to accomplish mutual trust.
- Lead with equity: I will fight for every student to have a voice and be treated as the equal individual they are.
- Use humor: I will have fun and invite others to enjoy the learning experience.
- Model humility: As an imperfect human, I will apologize and do damage control when I mess up, when feelings are hurt, when miscommunication happens, when learning doesn’t happen because of something I do.
- Confront with care and concern: I will not look the other way when a word or action demands correction, but I will do so remembering that we all deserve second chances.
- Ask for help: I will ask you to be on my team and beg you to always remember that we're all in this boat together.
- Love without ceasing: I will have bad days, distracted days, tired days, and anxious days. But these are not your fault. Student, I will love you and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it.
What do you need to bring to be successful in this class?
- 1 spiral notebook of any size, type, kind, color, texture, cost, superhero, cutesy saying. It. Doesn’t. Matter.
- Something to write with.
Caregivers, I will always take care of your kiddo. If a few days into the year they say, “I don’t have a spiral,” I will make sure they have one--No questions asked. I wish we had a system that served your child at zero expense to you. We don't. But that doesn't mean your kid will ever go without when it comes to school supplies.
I’m not too proud to ask for more than a spiral and pen because as a classroom we will need more than that to carry out certain projects, activities, and meet daily needs. Should you feel inclined to contribute, I will accept with open arms your donations of the following:
- glue sticks
- loose leaf paper
- sanitizing wipes to clean the desks
Additionally, I have a list of books I’m desperate to get in our students’ hands. This classroom is built on a culture of book love. (If you just threw up in your mouth a little as you read that statement, just give it some time and we’ll change your mind.)
Yes, we have a school library that has more than enough wonderful books and an awesome librarian to get every student just the right book. However, I know our students need books in every classroom. Books at their fingertips wherever they go. To that end, I created an Amazon Wish List of the books (and tape to ensure they survive) that will hopefully get devoured in our classroom this year.
You should know that I was not a real reader or writer in school. I simply played the game well enough to end up with a bunch of stuff around my neck at graduation. It took time, the right teacher, the right book, the right writing assignment, and the right mindset. I do solemnly swear that for you I will be that teacher, find that book, write beside you, and try to inspire that mindset.
See you soon!