ASCD Empower 2019 – Basil Marin touched my heart. Mr. Marin comes from a REACH mindset. We need to reach underserved students. Education is a calling. It’s our responsibility to reach ALL students in our classrooms: special education students, 504 students… Mr. Marin also reminded us that love has no color or gender. White teachers can make a difference with black students. Teaching is hard work. In order to serve students, we must REACH. Mr. Marin explained REACH like this:
R is for relationships. This is the foundation of teaching. Content and pedagogy is not enough. Relationship means – Do you KNOW me? Students want to feel valued and understood. Remove the shell of those hard to reach kids. Identify the deep issues and provide support.
E is for efficacy. Efficacy is thinking you can be successful and being intrinsically motivated. As teachers we should see the “tiger” in the student instead of the cat. Work to change the narrative of those with low efficacy who struggle academically and are losing motivation.
A is for attitude. Hard to reach students will try to push you away. Teach resilience. Focus on growth mindset over fixed mindset. Help kids to learn the power of the word – YET. You don’t get it YET, but I will help you make it happen.
C is for champion. A champion says to students, “You matter!” At risk students deserve a champion. We need advocates for kids even in general education. Are you a champion for kids? “All students can learn – however, they will not learn from teachers they don’t like.”
H is for hope. Give all students the hope of success. Believe in your students. “Students have to believe it before they can achieve it.”
WOW – great reminders to those in the field of education. Basil Marin reached my heart during his presentation. I contemplate REACH! “Yep” – I say to myself. REACH! That’s what education is all about – encouraging and getting our students to reach: to reach for the stars, to reach for their dreams, to reach for what sometimes seems impossible… Reach, stretch, and grow. Don’t stop reaching.
I contemplate REACH as a teacher. I reach out my hand and my heart as I teach. When I think I just can’t reach a student – I reach a little more. I fight for them even when they have given up on themselves. YOU MATTER! I went into this profession believing I could make a difference because YOU MATTER! REACH – here is my hand. We can do this!