A is for attitude. Display your best can-do attitude when teaching and learning. Your positivity will rub off on your students.
B is for balance. Balance your teaching responsibilities and plan activities that help you rejuvenate.
C is for the three cs. Capable, confident, and can are essential words for everyone. Speaking these words encourages students to feel capable and confident, and that they can do it.
D is for delivery. How you deliver lessons is essential. Adding changes to your tone and incorporating theatrical movements helps keep students engaged.
E is for exercise. Integrating movement exercises helps reduce stress and improves focus. Follow the leader, yoga poses, and impromptu dance moves revive bodies lacking energy.
F is for foster. Foster a classroom culture of kindness. It begins with respect and modeling. Promote its growth beyond the classroom by incorporating service learning.
G is for global. World maps and globes are classroom gems. Provide an assortment for student exploration. Honor global diversity by showcasing the world's people and places.
H is for humor. Students love a good laugh. Add humor by sharing riddles and tongue twisters. Invite your students to write and share their own.
I is for inclusion. Inclusion encourages and fosters acceptance and respectful student interactions. Classroom conversation encourages students to value another's thoughts and opinions.
J is for joy. Joy is contagious. However great or small an experience, share joyous moments. By offering your students to speak of theirs, they'll naturally spread joy with others.
K is for keepsake. Student portfolios are a keepsake. A student's chosen additions support motivation for future progress and learning success.
L is for language. Introduce your class to spoken languages and encourage them to pronounce, sign, and speak words like hello, peace, and welcome. Display global alphabets and allow students to explore different tools used for writing.
M is for message. Welcome your students by writing a motivating morning message. Messages could include quotes, brain teasers, and questions encouraging replies.
N is for nature. Welcome opportunities to venture into nature. Step into the environment outside your school. Have students explore their five senses to take it all in. Add in a service-learning project where students are encouraged to care for their school and its surroundings.
O is for option. When planning lessons, provide students with options for approaching their learning. Provide an assortment of materials and workspaces. Have additional activities available if they finish their work early.
P is for peace. Practice quiet, stillness, and calm. Implement five minutes of peace. Play soothing music. Allow students to rest, stretch, and practice mindful breathing.
Q is for questions. Start with the who, what, where, when, why, and how and have your students do the same. Encourage questioning and allow adequate time for responses.
R is for responsibilities. Allocate classroom responsibilities. Create tasks your students can safely perform. Lending a hand fosters commitment and promotes personal pride.
S is for share. Share days encourage students to showcase unique findings, hobbies, and passions. Allow time for questions, comments, and compliments.
T is for try. Create an environment that supports giving all things a try. Offer insight on how to approach assignments, conversation, and book choices. Remind students that effort is an approach to their personal success.
U is for understand. Plan activities for students to understand themselves, their classmates, their school environment, and their learning by providing time for questioning, reflection, and conversation.
V is for voice. Differences matter. Remind students that their voice counts. Encourage them to share their respectful opinions through speaking, writing, singing, and creative arts.
W is for write. Supply your students with a variety of writing materials. Offer a selection of writing papers and utensils. Display an alphabet and sign language chart and create a word wall for reference.
X is for exit. Do you have your classroom exit map displayed in a visible location so everyone can understand the procedure? School safety is a top priority. Know the route and practice it.
Y is for yahoo. Sharing a yahoo with vigor lets your class know you are proud of their learning success. It's also an excellent echo word call that helps you gain student attention. Repeat yahoo throughout the school day.
Z is for ZYLAR, zip your lips and read. There are enormous benefits to independent reading. Keep your classroom library stocked with various genres and plan weekly visits to your school library for further exploration of reading material.
Nancy Craker-Yahman is a retired classroom educator with 33 years of teaching and learning experience in the United States (Massachusetts) and abroad (Carol Morgan School in Santo Domingo, Dominica Republic and one of six pioneer teachers who started Mont' Kiara International School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). As a teacher mentor, she works with college-level teachers in their classroom environments as they prepare for their final educational licensure.