#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | The Promise of Positive Teaching – News – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Sometimes, hearing that they can make different choices is an eye-opener that motivates students to keep working to better themselves.

“Good morning! Have a great day today!”

Students, parents and fellow teachers are accustomed to hearing my greeting in hallways and my classroom.

I do my best to be honest and genuine with families, students and colleagues. Being realistic is a necessity for me. I have spent over 20 years teaching at a Title 1 school where students often face challenges that almost always are out of their control.

As teachers, we must acknowledge the toll these hardships take on our students before we can lift their sights from a negative to a positive outlook.

A classroom lecture won’t accomplish that. We must model those in words and deeds.

— My promise: “Whatever happened last year is behind you. You can start over. It’s up to you.” In any school, kids arrive weighed down with past blunders and baggage that can negatively define their day or their entire lives. Sometimes, hearing that they can make different choices is an eye-opener that motivates students to keep working to better themselves.

— When our students’ progress was not reflected on recent state tests, it was disappointing. But a lot of good things are happening and we are committed to working harder to get them where they need to go. We are teaming up with families to build up our children.

— Setting both positive and high expectations is a big part of my job. Going from fifth grade to middle school can be tricky. I want to ensure that my students have the support they need in order to be successful. Sometimes that comes in the form of me guiding and supporting the students and the family. Maturity does not happen overnight, and kids need support while experiencing academic, social and emotional growth, adjusting to changing classes, and becoming more self-guided.

— Being accountable for tasks helps students see themselves as contributing to the classroom community. Students have many distractions — social media, cyberbullying, fractured families —but they also crave attention, positive relationships, and opportunities to help others. They want to feel as though they matter.

— I tell my students, “No one allowed me to fail, and I won’t let you fail.” My teachers encouraged, supported, guided and challenged me in a positive direction every step of the way. I pledge to do the same for all the students who cross my path.

My job is to find the BEST in my students and help them to shine.

Ronnique Major-Hundley is a fifth-grade math and science teacher and Emma E. Booker Elementary School Teacher of the Year.


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