The Freshman Transition Network

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Look for ways to empower the teachers in your Freshman Transition Program. The more effective they are the more effective the program will be. This is one of the reasons why teaming is such a powerful tools. It brings teachers together in an atmosphere that enables them to have a greater impact on students.

Anyway, look for ways to empower these teachers. Here are some examples:

1. Allow them to make intra-team schedule changes. If they find that a combination of students needs to change, let them make that change on their own as long as the students are changing class periods within the classes they teach. Then the teachers can simply notify the counselor or whoever enters schedule changes into the computer. This really changes the image of the teacher in the eyes of the student.

2. Allow teachers in the Freshman Transition Program collectively to have some additional authority when it comes to discipline. For example, they might be able to assign consequences to students that normally could only be assigned by an administrator if the group of teachers together feels this is necessary. This will probably only be used sparingly, but it allows the teachers to deal with some situations on their own and not have to go through administration. An example of this from our school involves team teachers assigning a student to our Saturday In-School Detention for repeatedly not working in class. At times with certain students this has been a very effective means of changing behavior.

3. Promote these teachers by finding ways for them to take leadership roles within the school. These teachers will be meeting together regularly - if you are providing them with a team planning period. This will naturally alter their learning curve in a positive manner. Them sharing ideas with the faculty and leading initiatives will be a natural outgrowth of the professional learning community that is their team.

The more you empower these teachers the more effective they will be. The more effective they are the more effective your program will be. And the more effective the program is the better off your students will be.

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Comment by Scott Habeeb on October 19, 2009 at 10:33pm
Awesome - keep it up! High expectations like that work best when all parties are a part of the communication. Great example to set for others.
Comment by Guy Skrobul on October 19, 2009 at 10:12pm
Scott,

Thanks for the tips. After reading 'The Ninth Grade Opportunity', we discussed them at our end of year planning meeting last spring and have been implementing them this year. Our teachers have been calling parents and assigning detentions for incomplete work. Our parents have been VERY supportive, as they want their children to do the assignments and to learn. They too are tired of the culture of accepting zeroes! Have a great week!

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