First congratulations for making it successfully through half the school year. Yay! At this point I would suggest take a moment to breathe, and relax. School and education are a continuous journey. It’s a learning experience for both teachers, and students. This would be a good time for teachers to reflect on their year so far. Self evaluate and list your strengths and what you would like to improve. Critique, do not criticize yourself. That’s self defeating.
First may I say do not try to implement a hundred new ideas that you’ve collected at conferences, and workshops all at once into your curriculum. Pick one simple, or major idea, and get it well planted into the class’s daily routine.
For example, I like my students to learn to think of themselves as a team, working together, and helping each other. This could be talking, modeling, defining, reviewing, prompting, etc. As they understand more math, and understand each other more, they become able to communicate without words. They know who may need help, and who has what strengths. They become interconnected. Behaving more like a band, dancers, or a sports team. They become their own support system, knowing they have the freedom to open up, trust, and express their thoughts about math.
That’s a major leap. But one best taken in the second half of the year, once everyone has settled in. Now it’s just a matter of conscious effort on the teachers part. The goal is to prepare them for the next step. They are climbing a ladder. Your job is support. Listen, and give them space to explore, question, succeed, and fail. Remember we are not chasing A’s. Children are searching for answers to our world, and reaching for goals they want to attain in life. For the teacher; Listen, show patience, give space, always support, be vulnerable, have fun, and be human.