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Classroom Q&A

With Larry Ferlazzo

In this EdWeek blog, an experiment in knowledge-gathering, Ferlazzo will address readers’ questions on classroom management, ELL instruction, lesson planning, and other issues facing teachers. Send your questions to lferlazzo@epe.org. Read more from this blog.

Teaching Opinion

How to Be a Better Teacher in 6 Words or Less

By Larry Ferlazzo — June 12, 2024 2 min read
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This is the latest post in a multiyear series in which educators share teaching advice in six words.

Erica Silva leads professional development with schools and districts across the country to advance racial equity:

Self-reflection is a transformative practice.

Denita Harris, Ph.D., is the assistant superintendent for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Wayne Township Metropolitan school district, Indianapolis:

Begin with relationships; end with respect.

Ann Stiltner is a high school special education and reading teacher in Connecticut with more than 20 years of experience in education:

Make mistakes. Give yourself grace. Repeat.

Pam Allyn is an author of numerous books for teachers, leaders, and parents/caregivers, including her latest works co-authored with Ernest Morrell, Every Child a Super Reader and Tell Your Story: Teaching Students to Become World Changing Thinkers and Writers (Scholastic):

Strengths, not deficits; build super learners.

Marina Rodriguez is a 6th grade dual language arts teacher at a Title I intermediate school in College Station, Texas:

Teach vulnerability by being vulnerable first.
Reserve space for the quiet students.

For 16 years, Diana Laufenberg taught grades 7-12 students social studies in Wisconsin, Kansas, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. She currently serves as the executive director and lead teacher for Inquiry Schools:

Always know you have much to learn.
Student inquiry can spark such momentum.
Let kids questions live and breathe.

Chandra Shaw has more than 24 years of experience in education, as a teacher, reading specialist, instructional coach, and now a literacy consultant at one of her state’s regional service centers:

ALL students are capable of brilliance!
Don't take it personal...They're kids.

Erinn Leone is a social science teacher and student advocate at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif.:

Build relationships and trust.

Kwame Sarfo-Mensah is a 15-year veteran educator and the founder and CEO of Identity Talk Consulting, LLC, an independent educational consulting firm that provides professional development and consulting services:

Be a student of your students.
Your students’ identities should always matter.
Don’t let unjust policies police students.

Mary Sandoval is an educator who passionately believes in equitable instruction for multilingual learners. Kate Nelson is an English-language development and reading specialist with a passion for multilingual literacy:

Mistakes are part of the process.

Stephanie Dewing, Ph.D., is an associate professor of clinical education and the chair of the bilingual authorization program at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education:

Take an interest in their interests.
Seriously, don’t sweat the small stuff!

Thanks to everyone for contributing their thoughts!

Today’s guests answered this question:

Six-word stories are very popular. In six words, please share teacher-related advice you would offer other educators. Individual or multiple submissions are welcome from the same writer.

Consider contributing a question to be answered in a future post. You can send one to me at lferlazzo@epe.org. When you send it in, let me know if I can use your real name if it’s selected or if you’d prefer remaining anonymous and have a pseudonym in mind.

You can also contact me on Twitter at @Larryferlazzo.

Just a reminder; you can subscribe and receive updates from this blog via email. And if you missed any of the highlights from the first 12 years of this blog, you can see a categorized list here.

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The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


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