Well, Kelly and I were both a bit busy yesterday and weren't able to complete Thursday's post so we are teaming up to complete both tasks today.
First: Kelly and Management...How to get your class to walk quietly in the hall? The answer is simple, TATTLE! That's right I encourage my students to tattle on each other in the hall only and it works. Each student is in charge of 2 people, the person in front of them and in back of them only. If either of those two people are talking the person in charge raises their hand. I immediately know who is talking and that signal usually stops the person from talking. Once the person stops talking the child must put their hand down. It works like a charm I always get compliments on how quiet my class in the hall. Don't forget to compliment the children who are tattling and making good choices. This gets the tattling out of their system in a nonverbal way and the class manages themselves. Genius and I have no idea where I got this idea from. Anyone else use tattling in the hallway as a management system?
Ok friends, it's time for my tips for teaching. I going to go fast and free here so let's dive in!
-Damien's Tips for Teachers:
- Love what you do. Teaching is an isolated profession and one that doesn't get much positive attention lately so make sure you love getting up each morning and walking into that classroom to meet those faces who are waiting for you.
- Speaking of classrooms. You will spend more time there than at home so make sure you like the way it looks. Some might say the Pinterest-ing or theme-ing of classrooms is too much; all I know is on a crappy day when I sit down in my desk I can always say "wow, it looks nice in here".
- Authentic Literature is the only way. Students will not enjoy the "stories" in a basal series, you will not enjoy the basal series, and most importantly-they will not learn the skills
- Remember what it is like to be the age you teach. Have sympathy, compassion, love, and understanding for your students. Sometimes homework won't get done. Sometimes students won't be able to focus. Sometimes they will try your patience. They are kids and they aren't doing it on purpose. They will need you to be understanding, to help them make it right, and to show them that even when they mess up you still care for them.
- MODEL! MODEL! MODEL! Tell students what to do is ok. If you want them to do it, show them what a connection, or word problem, or response looks like.
- Have FUN! Remember that...fun? It's not measured on standardized assessments or part of the curriculum but it is important. Be silly, tell corny jokes, and just laugh with you students. Don't let "the man" get you down.
- Speaking of laughing- LAUGH at your mistakes as there will be many of them.
- A wise teacher once told me, "If you have engagement, you don't need management". That being said classroom management/engagement can totally derail your entire school year.
- Whether it comes to students, parents, colleagues, etc. "Mean what you say and say what you mean".
- And lastly, remember you worked hard to get where you are today, but the hardest work has just begun.
Thanks so much for "listening"!
-Damien and Kelly