Did you know our instructors at PLS Classes are also K-12 educators? Many are working teachers and others have retired. We recently asked a few of our working instructors to share some insight with us about what is going on in their classrooms, how to support student learning, and new ideas to help kick off 2023 on a positive note. Here’s what they had to say.

Q: How can parents or guardians best support student learning at home?

Deb Kedzior 

“Read every day with your children.”  

Sharon Casciole

“Be present in your child’s education. See the value in structure and effort!”

Marci Waleff

“Parents can support learning by paying attention to what is happening at school and reinforcing the importance of effort.”

Judy Gehr

“Instead of ‘How was your day?’, ask more specific questions to get a conversation going, such as:

  • What did you do that was fun?  
  • What was interesting? 
  • What was new?  
  • What might have frustrated you?  
  • Tell me about your favorite character in a book you are reading.
  • Did anything funny happen today?

Show interest by saying the following: ‘I would love to look at your homework so I can see what you have been working on.’”

Q: Do you have a favorite personal or student “success story” that you’d like to share? 

Deb Kedzior 

“They are all my favorite stories….each child is unique in their own way and grows independently.  It is my desire to continue to foster an environment where children grow both academically and personally.  Sometimes the little steps mean more than the great big hurdles.  

I switched grade levels to Jr. High this year. I teach 7th grade ELA. My heart was filled last week when a 7th grader hugged me in the hallway. They are just bigger little kids.”  

Judy Gehr

“After taking the course, Purposeful Learning Through Multiple Intelligences™, and implementing Howard Gardner’s eight intelligences in my classroom, I experienced more students meeting with success and fewer students dealing with math anxiety.”

Q: Can you share a highlight or take home lesson from one of the PLS Classes that you teach?

Deb Kedzior 

“Educators are forever devoted to being life-long learners. We do this from the goodness of our hearts and it is evident that teachers care!”

Sharon Casciole

“I think the strategies used in the course Successful Teaching for Acceptance of Responsibility™ (STAR) are valuable in the classroom and as parents. In this course participants gain new techniques and strategies that empower students to become self-directed and responsible learners positioned for success. I’d love to see a course like this be a prerequisite for all teachers!”

Judy Gehr

“A highlight is always the thank you notes I receive from teachers who value the content of our courses.”

Q: Is there anything new or creative that your school, district or classroom is doing this year that you’d like to share with our community of K-12 educators? 

Brooke Thurston

“We started to block out 30 minutes for math fluency centers. These centers are basic skills and reinforce the skills being taught in our core math lessons.”

Christopher VonVolkenburg

“I have found that students are connecting through traditional social events (dance, back to school bazaars) as a result of losing those through the pandemic. Why not plan a school wide community event getting all parents and students to attend an event after school — ice cream social anyone?”

Gloria Herlihy

“I recently got something called a Vivi, which is a wireless screen mirroring and digital signage tool designed for education. It’s a great way to connect and project my lessons. The added bonus of this is students can download the Vivi app and I can let them project right from their seats. It’s been a lot of fun reviewing work they do on their Chromebooks.”

Mike Glover

I’ve been challenging my colleagues more and more with implementing mastery learning into our curriculum. Instead of a student scoring less than perfect, I will ask them to revise or change part of a project until it meets the standard that I have set. I feel that this resembles real life in that most of us don’t get letter grades at our workplace. We are simply asked to redo or change something until it is what the “boss” wants! I like to model that in the classroom.”

It’s Your Turn!

We’d love to hear your answers to any of the above questions. Simply comment below.

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