WS/FCS Title I Department, National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc. welcomes Michael Bonner

WS/FCS Title I Department, National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc. welcomes Michael Bonner
November 22
11:45 2017

On Saturday, Nov. 4, WS/FCS’s Education Building was filled with over 80 educators as they participated in a professional development session with Michael Bonner.  Mr. Bonner is a second grade teacher who appeared on the “Ellen DeGereres Show.”

He captivated many by his unique style of teaching and his impeccable way of initiating and maintaining relationships with his students. Bonner shared the importance of having a healthy school and classroom culture in order for students to reach their full potential. “You can’t demand a withdrawal from someone you have never invested in,” said Bonner. Bonner reminded the educators that relationships are the keys to success with students.

To assist educators with the context of his presentation, Bonner shared a portion of the documentary, “Teach Us All.” This documentary chronicled historical events in education (1960s in Little Rock, Arkansas) that are relevant to various perspectives of education today.

Several strategies for engaging students were shared with the session participants. Some of the strategies included using pop culture references (music, television shows, movies) to relate to students and tap into their interests and hobbies; giving students a personal touch (for example a handshake that only the student and teacher shares); taking the time to listen and understand the situations of students (inside and outside of school); and using technology/websites such as Kahoot.

Bonner gave the session participants a chance to participate in several activities he uses with his students – one of their favorites was the handshake videos made and posted to the website by the educators. Participants were rejuvenated and excited about going back into the schools and doing the important work of educating students.

As part of the excitement, many participants were gifted with either a $100 or $50 bill from Bonner or a “Bonner Buck” coupon to receive Bonner’s book, “Get Up or Give Up,” from the Title I Department. A wonderful breakfast and lunch was provided by the Beta Lambda Chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc. as well.

Bonner recognized the importance of content and expressed the responsibility of educators to deliver content but he cautioned we can only deliver the content once a meaningful relationship has been established with students. This idea echoes the focus of the WS/FCS Title I department of “Educating the Whole Child, All Day, Every Day.”

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