At Chagrin Falls High School they have implemented a program called Tiger Time. When I attended the high school, Tiger Time took place on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 45 minutes in the morning. Now, it takes place on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. Tiger Time is a section of the day that is given to students to get the help they need. Whether that be going to see a teacher about the class or for students who don’t have a study hall, to be able to get work done during that time. In addition to these two things, Tiger Time also gives the opportunity for students with IEPs (Individual Education Plans) or students who struggling significantly to go to their assigned interventions.
Awhile ago, during my learning circle’s current connection, I shared the article, ““Students With Disabilities Deserve Inclusion. It’s Also the Best Way to Teach” by Hannah Grieco from Education Week (Published May 7, 2019). In this article, it focuses on students with disabilities whether that be physical, mental or learning disabilities. Tiger Time is great because it means that the school is recognizing that there are students who need the extra help. Although it may seem “inconvenient”because Tiger Time means that the rest of classes are shorter throughout the day, students are being included and getting the help that they need. In her article, Grieco states that, “It might be less convenient at first for teachers and students (and parents) to learn about and embrace the disabled student populations at their schools. But there is no inherent right to be free from inconvenience. Perhaps it’s time to look more closely at why we as educators and parents are demanding that to begin with.”
So during Tiger Time during my observation, a student came in named Katie. Katie had been in Mr. D’s geometry class during 2nd period. She studies diligently and participates consistently. She came in to his classroom, with tears almost forming in her eyes, I was extremely concerned. So I asked her what was going on, and she told me that she felt so overwhelmed and was afraid that she hadn’t studied enough for the test. She knew that even though Mr. D. is extremely fair and clear on his tests, that her mind would blank and not know what to do. I told her we could sit and talk and go over as many questions as she’d like. so she would feel prepared and confident for these upcoming assessments. She quickly began to look engaged; however, she told me that she thought that she was wasting my time. I remember feeling the exact same way when I was in high school. And for a lot of time, I didn’t advocate for myself or get. the help I needed because I was afraid that I was being a nuisance. But, now, from a teacher’s perspective, I realize how thankful I am for students like Katie.
I told Katie that she was not wasting my time. That teachers are here to help you, walk with you, encourage you, and make you feel confident. It can be hard to believe for awhile, but it’s so important that students understand that. When we talk about student’s needing to feel heard, that also means helped too. We, as educators, need to do much more than just letting a student be heard, we need to find ways to help that student. The biggest thing: building their confidence. We all know what it’s like to feel nervous for something, even if we thought it was silly. We all know what it feels like to be pushing yourself constantly, but still feeling like you never measure up. Kids feel the same way. Even the kids that feel the most confident, have moments where they feel like they’re nothing. We need to recognize this and help them. Mr. D. always had this phrase he would tell me before a test, and sometimes, would even write it on my tests. HUMBLE CONFIDENCE. Basically, this means that be confident in yourself where you know you can do it, but still humble. Know that you’re not better than anyone, but also know that you are capable.
This was a great experience.