Saturday, September 20, 2014

Rule #1- Always Pay Attention- (Especially during Dismissal)

So I'd like to think I am a very attune and attentive teacher. I really listen to most of what my students have to say because I want them to know that I care. 

It was about the 2nd week of school, and  the first day for our (my partner teacher and I) Intern to be with us for a full day. After what I would call a "pretty darn good day", dismissal comes... so we are lining up the bus lines and sending the students down line by line, as the time changes from 3:30 to 3:40 to 3:50 and we begin to question bus 66. (It's usually one of the first buses to arrive.) 

Needless to say, they called it and we MISSED it. Which brings me back to this being the first rule, ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION. 

We quickly found ourselves stuck passing glances at each other, to our intern, and back at 2 of our precious kiddos (who at this point one is tossing his backpack around and the other is calm as calm as can be expected when he realizes he's been left) #nochildleftbehind 

After walking the halls and calling parents arrangements were made and all was well again.

But we couldn't help thinking... How did we miss this bus?? How did the students not hear their bus?(Rhetorical) How did we only have 2 kids from bus 66 left behind?? These questions go unanswered, however; we learned that there is a first time for everything, and unfortunately We fell victim to paying attention.

Rules are established by not only our mistakes but also our successes. -me


R is for Rules!

Each year, at the beginning of the year we, as teachers, establish "Classroom Rules or Expectations" for our students. We write these rules in such a way that they can only be viewed in a positive light, such as "Always walk in the halls" rather than saying "Do NOT Run." We change the way we word them, so they say what we CAN do versus what we CAN'T do. 

But when I sit and think, it is amazing to me how many rules there are for students. This year I want go out on a whim and write about the rules of teaching, focusing on what we CAN and should do rather than saying what we CAN'T do. 

Create your own rules, and always know the only rules in teaching are the ones that work! (Until told otherwise)


Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Gift

"98% of what you say, isn't coming out of your mouth." -Hitch

Today I was gifted the opportunity to be away at a retreat. While there, we had a guest speaker, and if you have any prior knowledge on guest speakers, they love to ask for volunteers. Well... she did ask, and me I was too eager to be her 1st volunteer. (Lesson learned) I quickly stood up and without background info, she asked me to tell her "what is branding?"... So before you begin to ask why... Focus on the word and think about how it has multiple meanings. (As a veteran teacher it amazes me at how my brain approaches topics, words, and thoughts these days. I see a word and view a teacher's perspective, I think of a math concept and can have a song in my head to connect with it.)

So anyway, I stand up and say "I think a brand is something that is trademarked, a brand is something that is popular or well known in stores." If you think like me, you're thinking good answer, right? Well, unfortunately, the presenter was not looking for that definition, she proceeded to get another definition from another lady and then complimented her with a gift. CRAZY! Right??? Yes, I was shocked to say the least, bc I know that I gave her a definition of branding. (FYI- in my mind, I'm really mad at this point, bc I know there are at least 3 definitions off hand) So basically, ... she got the prize and I didn't... although I DID give a correct definition. (You hopefully can imagine how I felt.)

Point is:
As teachers we are often searching for specific answers to questions asked. We ask our students questions based on what has been taught and we encourage them regardless, whether right or wrong. This moment gave me a glimpse into how it feels to be the student(s) who may not have/give the right answer. This made me think of all students who do not receive "class cash" or "tickets" for right answers. The strugglers, the behavior problems and the quiet ones who fear being wrong. If students feel inadequate they will not be their best, they will shut down and hold it inside, just as though I found myself doing today. I can easily see how trust can be broken and how student-teachers relationships can fall apart based off one encounter.

Charge for all:
I charge all teachers and parents to continue to build up your students/children. Encourage them through the struggles, speak positivity into their lives,and should you choose to reward students for answering questions, give them something for participating. Always show that you support them, and are thankful for their hard effort, they may not be right but they ARE trying.

This post is dedicated to all those who have ever felt inadequate. Those who have ever felt wrong and were truly hurt. We as PEOPLE have the power to make someone feel supported, and it doesn't always come from what you say. (Body language)