Education Opinion

Performance Boosters—High School

By Venise Grossmann — August 12, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

I’ve been teaching for 19 years now, so I know how to ensure that my high school students perform to the best of their abilities. I recommend four ways to help create an optimal learning environment in the classroom.

See Also

Have a positive attitude

First, project a positive attitude toward students and make it clear that you have a love and passion for the subject matter. When teachers explain why the material is worth learning and how students can apply it in the real world, students are much more motivated to learn.

Plan well

When planning a unit, review what you have previously done, keeping only the most successful components, and then consult the Internet or your peers who teach the same subject to get new ideas. Whenever a teacher can offer some form of choice to students, the kids appreciate it.

Vary activities

Be sure to vary the activities you plan and the forms of assessment. Having three different activities within a class period is a good practice. In addition to incorporating technology, also make sure that you align the lessons with state standards and other standardized tests, such as Advanced Placement and the SATs. At the end of the period, you can also remind students of late or upcoming assignments.

Communicate with parents

Finally, it is imperative that you keep close contact with parents. Presenting specific information at Back to School night—rather than a general overview—is a good start. You should keep student grades updated on online services such as Power Grade so that parents can access them at home. And if students misbehave and test you early in the year, immediately call the parents.


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: October 11, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 27, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 20, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education From Our Research Center What's on the Minds of Educators, in Charts
Politics, gender equity, and technology—how teachers and administrators say these issues are affecting the field.
1 min read
Stylized illustration of a pie chart
Traci Daberko for Education Week