The villages of my school comprise a socioeconomically diverse community on the edge of Chicago’s west side. As a result of the very different socioeconomic backgrounds of students in the community, members of the community are very involved in the high school in many ways. Local businesses work closely with students. Families and businesses are very willing to give of their time and resources.
In addition, my school’s leaders and teachers work very hard to maintain a community of professionals constantly working on new ways to motivate and teach our students. This entire community demonstrates the power of people working together to better understand how teach students from a variety of backgrounds. We know that all students can, and will, learn. They are our clients and we are ethically responsible for helping them
find success and personal achievement.
In my high schools business department, we provide a very positive, supportive environment and develop personal relationships with our students in order to help them achieve high levels of success.
Students learn the ins and outs of business management and business models as they raise money for great local causes. Local non-profit businesses work closely with our students on a variety of projects. In return, our annual
t-shirt project has raised $25,000.00 to benefit the local community.
However, in my classroom, I don’t just teach about business through examples of great success. I encourage students to learn from their mistakes and I help them to keep their spirits high as they learn. I provide a safe, learner-based classroom community that consistently sends the message that every day is an opportunity to take risks and learn through success as well as failure. I work closely with students and their families to develop relationships that will help students learn to understand how the world of business works and how that understanding of business will help them lead successful lives.
I think that this is the most important part of my job. I work every day to create lifelong learners and students who can find success despite failures, hardships, and difficulties in their personal lives. Many students are so
accustomed to always failing that they stop caring and do the bare minimum. They lose their motivation to learn and be a part of a learning community. When I bring in a local business that analyzes their work motivation
levels skyrocket because students are suddenly accountable to the community at large. Students want to succeed in front of their peers and want to impress the successful business owners that impact the “real world” outside the walls of my high school. Working closely with local community businesses provides a motivational
tool that I use to bring out the best in all my students regardless of their
educational levels or socioeconomic backgrounds.