Teaching Title 1 • Part 3


Sustaining Success in 3 Simple Steps

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Seeing students succeed creates one of the greatest feelings you can have as a teacher. It is seeing students accomplish their goals that makes the hard work worthwhile.

Title 1 students do not always have extra opportunities due to the economic difficulties of their family. So when success is reached this can be cause for great celebration with and for them as it likely took more time and effort to see their goals met. How can we encourage our Title 1 students, or any student for that matter, to have ongoing success in the classroom and in their lives? 

  1. Give them small goals at first and move toward bigger ones as they see small victories. Many times we may want to help students set stretch goals, but then they fail at it because they need stepping stones to get there. They often lack preparedness to approach a bigger goal by setting their own milestones along the way. 

  2. Encourage each and every student. Kids need verbal affirmation and positive reinforcement. Whether you're telling a student in person what a great job they’ve done, writing them specific feedback on an assignment, or (my personal favorite) calling home to tell their parents all the great things their child did in the classroom that day, kids thrive with affirmation! 

  • Students won’t often tell you this, but making a call home to a parent or guardian to provide positive feedback is one of the best things we can do. I called a few of my students’ parents and the following day the kids came to me and were so excited that their parents got a good report. Some of my other students overheard that I called their peers’ parents and immediately said to me, “Miss, here is my mom’s phone number, please call her and tell her what a great job I have been doing too!” (And remember, these are high school students I am talking about!!) I believe all ages and levels of students seek parental praise; what a gift we can help give by simply taking the time and effort to call parents and provide positive progress and praise.

  • While it may be easiest to see and praise the classroom and academic performances of students, I always try to find a character quality or two to include when I make positive calls to parents. I want parents and students to know that who my students are (attitudes, motivation, perseverance, and even kindness) matters as much or more than their academic performance.

3. Teach these students how to deal with failure. At some point they will fail! It is important to teach them that the world isn’t crumbling if they don’t succeed. By doing this, it will help them learn how to get back up and keep going. This helps in the classroom and in life. Investing in people and teaching them life lessons will help them achieve ongoing success! 

After seeing the results of these strategies being instilled in my students first hand, I can honestly say that I have seen more student success long term than I did in my early months of teaching. Early on in my teaching career I rarely thought about success past my class or past high school for these students. 

In utilizing some of these simple strategies, I saw students get their grades up, invest in becoming physically fit, build relationships with friends or family, become better role models for younger siblings, and I saw students continue on into college ready to thrive and take on the next challenge. This makes what we do worth it because we want our students to succeed, not just in our class... but in life! 

These Connecting Link courses may help you gain additional strategies for reaching and effectively teaching Title 1 students: 

Here are a few classes related to this topic:

Zoe Price
Zoe is a Title 1 High School educator in the Palm Beach County School District, Florida.

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