2 Month Goal for Teachers: Know Your Students

A typical classroom in a Japanese junior high ...Image via WikipediaSchool starts today.

Teachers are preparing for a brand new bunch of students to enter their lives. They need to start the year off in such a way as to engage the students, set the tone of the classroom, establish classroom routines and procedures, enforce the school rules and policies, and collect data. All the while managing a million other little things that need to be done in the first month of school.

It’s tough being a teacher. That is why I run Teaching Tip Tuesdays on this blog. It’s a weekly feature that lets me share with you some ideas, lessons, tips, and practices that I have found useful in my own teaching for the last

Today’s Tip – Set a 2 Month Goal

We only have ten months with our students, and while that might sound like a long time right now, it will fly by. If you don’t set this 2 month goal right now, it might take you 8 months and you will be kicking yourself when you realize that you are just about out of time with this current crop of students.

Every class is different.

Every student is different.

But they are often different in similar ways.

Get to Know Your Students in 2 Months

With 25 students in your classroom, it is difficult to make time for each student individually. But, it is also very important that you do so.

The better you know your students, the more effectively you can teach them, reach them, and have them live up to their potential.

Use Writing Assignments

You can have your students make a mind map of their favourite things. It is an activity they will like to do and it gives you some information about their interests.


You can also learn a lot about your students from what they choose to write about in their morning journals.

Work One-on-One

Find some time to work one-on-one with every student. It’s best to do sight word testing, reading level testing, and other such things individually. This gives you a really clear idea as to where each student is at academically.

Use What You Know to Reach Every Student

By October, you should have a pretty good idea as to where each student is at in your class.

Not only will you have data about their reading ability, you should also know a little bit about their learning style.

This will allow you to group your students not only by ability but also by the way they respond to work.

And when you know your students this well, by October, you can spend the rest of the year speaking directly to each student in the class. That is the heart of differentiated instruction!

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2 responses to “2 Month Goal for Teachers: Know Your Students”

  1. Hi Chase .. I like that mind map idea .. and we could use that amongst family and friends if we have youngsters around .. thanks ..

    Heart-based instruction .. good idea – cheers and enjoy being back .. you always seem to make it fun for the kids .. cheers Hilary