Woodstock Teaching Techniques to Help Students Succeed and Build Family Bonds at the Same Time – Shaw Local
John Liuzzi knows he has little time to build his students’ confidence; teach them lifelong real-world skills; and realizing that if they fail at something, tomorrow is a new day.
Liuzzi is in her eighth year teaching at Woodstock North High School and one of the Woodstock School District 200 teachers runs her Advancement Through Individual Determination program, also known as AVID.
AVID teachers help students develop study and note-taking skills, learn how to overcome obstacles, and create a plan for their future, including deciding which colleges or trade schools they want to attend, of the major they are pursuing and the school they are considering has that major.
Liuzzi encourages students to think critically, collaborate, take detailed notes, and expand their knowledge.
“There is no career field where these are not applicable skills to impart to students,” Liuzzi said. “We give them the opportunity to create their own trajectory. Figure out what they want to do and how can we give them the skills to maximize their success when they get where they’re going? »
Some students struggle to get a C-minus, but with the right skills taught in an AVID classroom, they can get Aces and Bs, he said.
Liuzzi said he took many different paths to become a teacher – different schools and majors. But in 2007, as a senior in college, it was working part-time counseling a seventh-grader with autism that “changed the game for me.”
“It was then that I realized I could invest my time and energy and have a specific impact on children and students and shape their success,” he said.
Martin Tucker Wilson, another AVID teacher, spent a lot of time with his mother, a teacher, in her classroom where he learned the value of an education and was inspired to become a teacher. As a student, he said he was troubled when he learned of educational inequity and that a child’s birthplace could predict their success.
“I was struck by how the zip code someone was born in can have a big impact on their school, how they see themselves and where they go in the future,” Wilson said.
Today, Wilson is an eighth grade literacy and science teacher and an AVID teacher for seventh and eighth graders at Northwood Middle School in Woodstock.
He said he strives to show all of his students, no matter their background or zip code, that they are capable of greatness.
“AVID helps students develop a plan for success in their present, but also for where they want to go in the future,” he said. “AVID students think about the job they want for the future, the training required to do so, and tailor their high school experience to achieve it. »
After college, Wilson taught English in public schools in Buenos Aires where he said he “encountered poverty on a different level than I’ve seen in the United States.”
“But I’ve also witnessed how many students from the most challenging environments have resilience because of great teachers and organized, supportive schools,” Wilson said. “It inspired me to continually seek out the marginalized in a community.”
Melanie Meyers has spent her 22-year career at Northwood Middle School teaching sixth grade literacy and this year began teaching an AVID option.
She was inspired to become a high school teacher after volunteering as a helper alongside her own former first-grade teacher.
“Honestly, I was hooked from the moment I started working with her,” she said. “I loved receiving daily hugs and seeing all the students working so hard to learn, but more importantly, I loved the challenge of teaching young children. Nothing was better than putting a smile on that student who wasn’t interested in working with me or having that “aha” moment.
She started teaching an AVID elective class this year, but had already incorporated AVID techniques into her literacy classes.
The AVID approach centers on creating a family within a classroom, which matches Meyers’ style of teaching, she said.
“I got into teaching years ago because I really wanted to make a difference and help students see the value of education,” she said. “AVID gives me a unique opportunity to work with an incredible group of sixth graders who are positive, caring and want so badly to have an impact on this world. From day one, I wanted to let them know that they can wrestle safely in my class and that I will be there to help them at all times.