Two-By-Ten Strategy Part 2

Earlier this year, I shared a blog about how teachers at my school are using the two-by-ten strategy to build relationships with at-risk scholars. You know the ones. The scholars that challenge our patience. The scholars who push back and oppose our very existence. The scholars who push us to grow in ways we hadn’t thought about, nor knew we could.

Overall this strategy was successful and teachers shared positive outcomes.

You might be thinking, “Ok I get it, but how can I fit this into my already overloaded day?” Here are a few options for you to consider:

Meet at recess

Meet during lunch

Meet walking to and from specials or lunch in the hallway

Meet for a couple of minutes before going into lunch or specials

Meet during small group of partner work within instruction

Meet after small group reading

Meet in the morning before class

Meet at the bike rack and spend a few minutes before breakfast

Meet at breakfast

Meet in the morning and visit his classroom when possible

Meet during various times including morning work, while other scholars are working

Meet in the morning coming in to school

Meet at parent pick-up while waiting for then to get picked up

We learned spending a few minutes every day talking to our at-risk scholars far exceeded our expectations. It became easier and easier to find time. Relationships and meaningful bonds were created. We learned taking time helps us understand our scholars and the “why” behind who they are. We learned the importance of slowing down and listening and how a short conversation everyday can make a huge difference.

Teacher comments included:

“Two minutes can make a big difference in someone’s life including my own. Making a difference in a child’s life makes my heart warm.”

“I learned that I had the power to change how I was handling myself in dealing with my scholar. I also learned that there is so much more to him than I had known before starting the challenge.”

“I am stronger. He helped me become a better person. I think I got more out of it then he did.”

“I learned how important it is to purposefully build relationships with all scholars. It is easier to focus on the scholar who wants to build a relationship rather than the ones who NEED to build relationships.”

“I learned that often times I do not know as much as I think about my scholars.”

So, what are you waiting for?


Jen Robinson

Jen Robinson

Maricopa, Arizona

Hello, my name is Jen Robinson. I have been in education for over 20 years. I began teaching in Buffalo, NY in 1992, as a pre-school special education teacher. My experience ranges from primary grades through high school. My husband and I moved to Arizona in 2001, where we were fortunate enough to teach at the same school. In 2004, I achieved National Board Certification and currently support candidates. In 2011 I completed my Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation. My dissertation research focused on supporting National Board candidates through their certification process. During the 2012-2013 school year, I completed my National Board renewal process. It was humbling and very powerful to step back into a classroom. I am currently an elementary principal. I am excited and hopeful for the new school year. I also serve on the Arizona Teacher Solutions Team where we are solutions focused in an effort to transform and elevate the teaching profession.

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