Life has been crazy as ever and writing classes are humming along. We are just finishing up our Personal Memoirs and I wanted to share how the final anchor charts turned out. I have to give my wife some serious kudos for her amazing handwriting on these babies...
Can you guess which one I wrote? ha ha. I have been so pleased with how this unit went. I have spent the month teaching about Memoirs, Editing, Revision, and several mini-lessons on using quotation marks, adding detail, and more. I will be sharing several of the final memoirs next week after we finish typing them up and get them hung in the hallway.
On another note, as an upper grade team we also revised our classroom rules a little bit. I like the changes a lot. We changed our first rule from: "When someone is talking you are listening" to "When someone is teaching your voice is off and you are listening." I then put a definition of what talking is next to it (as defined by me...)
We also gave rule #2 a complete overhaul. It used to be "Put people Up, Not Down". We decided that is already included in Rule 4- "Use School Appropriate Language". So we made Rule #2 "Respect Adults". These changes were made at the suggestion of our school counselor. I like them a lot.
I also learned how to appropriately respond to problems. The counselor came and observed my teaching at my request. I have a tough class this year and wanted feedback on how I was doing with addressing behavior, etc. She told me that I was doing a great job, which made me feel good. However, by the end of the lesson I was totally frustrated and ready to quit- ha ha.
She told me that I do too much explaining why they are misbehaving. She said I need to be the broken record. "We don't use that kind of language at school", "Our rule is to keep your hands to yourself". After a prompt, they must move their clothespin down one. I have a hard time being "mean", if you will. I teach because I love kids and want them to be successful. But, I have learned, especially since moving back home to teach, that my "compassion" is causing me some serious frustration and anxiety. I must admit that the past few days, since meeting with the counselor and getting feedback, that I have been a happier teacher, had more fun with my classes, and have be able to come home mostly happy- something I haven't had for a long time. I am sure some of your are shaking your head saying, "Duh, Mr. Hughes, we have known that for years!" I am so grateful that you didn't have to experience what I have... :)
What about you? What awesome management tips have you discovered, learned, or experienced that have made your teaching life easier-