TeacherGoal #18: Increase Engagement of At-Risk Students with Dr. Don Parker

When you're at peace that's when you're supposed to plan for war.


Dr. Don Parker
Author, Building Bridges

Have you ever wondered how to build meaningful relationships with students at risk of failing in school? In this conversation, our incredible guest, Dr. Don Parker digs into relevant strategies to build teacher-student relationships and create a welcoming learning environment that fosters student engagement, motivation, and achievement. He shares how to introduce these techniques into the classroom and connect with students on a personal level to increase their achievement in the classroom. Let's dive in!

Dr. Don Parker is a speaker, author, and professional development provider and has been an educator since 1997. His experience in education includes working in the inner-city Chicago Public Schools district and predominantly low-income, minority suburban schools. His diverse background in education has provided him with the knowledge of how to best apply evidence-based methods and interventions to improve student behavior and increase student achievement.

3 TeacherGoal Tips

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Tip 1:

To increase engagement of at-risk students, you must have strategies in place to address their specific needs

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Tip 2:
Model respect and teach students to do the same

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Tip 3:
Develop strong relationships by using engagement strategies, icebreakers, and restorative practices

This Episode Features...

Dr. Don Parker

Dr. Don Parker is a speaker, author, and professional development provider. He was the principal of Posen Intermediate School in Posen-Robbins School District 143.5 in Posen, Illinois where he improved the climate and made his staff feel valued through support and motivation. Previously, he was the principal of Lincoln Avenue School, a K–8 school in Dolton, Illinois, where he improved the culture, implemented a resilience program, managed the implementation of restorative justice, and increased attendance and student achievement.

Dr. Parker has been an educator since 1997 with a background as a teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal of Student Life, Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction, and Assistant Principal for Activities and Athletics. His experience in education includes working in the inner-city Chicago Public Schools district and predominantly low-income, minority suburban schools. Dr. Parker was also an adjunct professor and taught graduate courses to a cohort of students seeking their master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction at National-Louis University in Bolingbrook, Illinois. His diverse background in education has provided him with the knowledge of how to best apply evidence-based methods and interventions to improve student behavior and increase student achievement.

Dr. Parker believes in creating a school climate in which the entire staff goes above and beyond to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of all students. He has presented throughout the United States at the top education conferences, including ASCD, Every Student Succeeds Act Conference, Staff Development for Educators, and the National Principals Conference. Dr. Parker is a professional development provider and conducts workshops titled "The Power of Building Trusting Relationships With At-Risk Students", Implementing a Resilience Program for At-Risk Students", "Enhancing Relationships Through Culturally Responsive Teaching", and "Burning Up Instead of Burning Out: Educator Mental Health and Well-being."

Erica Terry, Host

Erica Terry is a 20-year educator and co-author of the Eva the Diva Girl rhyming picture book series written with her daughter, to empower young girls to build confidence and grow in self-love. She is also the founder of Healthy Wealthy Educators, where she equips teachers with actionable tools and resources to start a profitable online business and build generational wealth without stress.

You can find her hanging out on Instagram @ericanterry_

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