Prepare examples to share
As a 9th grade Composition teacher, I’ve fielded the question, “How do you teach 14 year olds to write?” dozens of times. My number one answer is by modeling good writing. I conduct “write alouds,” where I simultaneously write and talk through my thinking process. I have them analyze two similar texts and evaluate which one is more effective. I show them a strong piece of writing and explicitly say, “This essay is awesome. Tell me why.” Studying or observing experienced writers at work simply helps my students write better themselves.
This theory applies to any kind of learning. Many students will struggle through ASSET’s curriculum because they’ve never been asked to do anything like it before. Your students are developing new social & emotional learning muscles, and instead of watching them get choked by a 300-pound bench press, you can spot them by modeling.
One way to do this is by pre-writing your responses to a writing-based tool on a white board. Or, you can write your response alongside your students. Not only will this provide a much-needed example to your students, but they will learn more about you!
About the Author
Gina has taught high school English for nearly a decade and recently discovered the power of social & emotional learning after embedding ASSET into her classroom culture. She now serves as ASSET’s Director of Programs and brings a teacher’s perspective to curricular and professional development materials. In her free time (when her bouncing baby boy is sleeping or in someone else’s arms), Gina loves to read, cook big family dinners, and get outside with her husband and dog.