Some people probably see the title "Remediation" and wonder, "Why oh why is someone talking about remediation when it's not even September?" My friends and colleagues, I talk about remediation is too often an end of unit or end of quarter thought. If remediation is to be successful we first must call it something more positive. In my classroom it's coaching or goal setting. I never want a student to feel as though he/she has failed in something simply because it may take him/her longer to understand. Coaching students to success in any set of objectives needs to include the following:
- It needs to start before the struggle begins: If you start to take an interest in a student after that student starts struggling, it is too late. Show sincere interest in your students from the very beginning. This not only helps build repore, but also allows you insight into what makes students tick. This creates a tool box of individualized strategies you can use later if necessary.
- It includes a team of parents, students and teacher: When everyone works together the student ultimately finds success. Scaffolding is not something that just happens in a classroom; parents can help a great deal too.
- It will remain continual. Once the struggle starts, energy needs to be put into that student and helping that student find success for the long term. A plan needs to be in place that requires accountability for all stakeholders, including the teacher.
- It must fit into the needs of the classroom. All teachers' programs will look different. Some teachers may even have different programs for different classes. I know the my coaching structure in a Standard English class deviates greatly from my program in a Pre-AP English class.
As we all embark on this 2012-2013 school year, reflect on what has worked in the past and what one or two things can be added to help struggling students find long term success. Often all it takes is ignition of the confidence and the student takes care of the rest.
Join the group on Intervention and Remediation to share your strategies.