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August 2022 Newsletter

New School Year: Start at the Beginning

As you begin to think about the new school year and what you hope to accomplish, it may help to take a step back and begin by first reconnecting with what drew you to teaching in the first place, and to reexamine your beliefs about and commitment to your students.

At RBT, we hold that there are some shared essential beliefs that bond us together in this complex profession.

"There are certain beliefs about children, about professional learning, and about schools that bear heavily on a teacher’s willingness to learn, and what it is he or she feels impelled to seek to learn. Without these beliefs, teachers are not committed to stretching themselves to acquire the expertise that none of us starts with. Beliefs drive behavior, are often unexamined, and are resistant to change. Without understanding one’s beliefs, it is impossible to understand one’s attitude and motivation to learn new skills and approaches to teaching." 

Source: Jon Saphier, Mary Ann Haley-Speca, and Robert Gower. 2018. The Skillful Teacher: The Comprehensive Resource for Improving Teaching and Learning, 7th ed, Acton, MA: Research for Better Teaching.

Which belief is worth examining more deeply this year as you get ready for your students’ arrival?

Starting from the foundation of these beliefs, we posit that skillful teachers are made, not born. Becoming a skillful teacher takes a deep commitment to ongoing learning - to continually expanding your knowledge or repertoire-  in order to make the best match to your students, content, and/or context.

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Tips from the Field

Thanks to those who wrote in about what it takes to be a skillful educator, and what they wish they had known earlier on in their careers.


"I love the concept of asking questions during the observation process. I never would have thought that it would make such a huge impact, but it truly helps the entire process flow more smoothly. Any concerns can be addressed and i can see if the instructor is drawing from past knowledge."


"Focus on a shift to a student centered model of instruction where all efforts are placed on the students ability to interact and learn based on curriculum topics. The structure of the class and use of time management, formative assessments, etc from the teacher to guide and support learning."


"Mastery Objectives are essential for great teaching and learning to occur in each and every class regardless of subject area."

"Create and share a criteria for every lesson. Growth mindset is crucial for any educational process."

"Set high expectations - students WILL rise to the occasion!"

"Strategies and skills are transferral -i.e. since most students are developing Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency, strategies for ELL students will work for all students especially in urban and other low performing demographic groups. It is just good teaching!"

Best of luck as you begin the 2022 - 23 school year. 

And, remember:

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