Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some Concrete Changes

Every day, I catch myself.  I catch myself before I say "stop," or "quiet," or "teacher point."  Those old habits dies hard, but every day I fight them and I renew my commitment to my students.  It is because of them I stop myself, it is because of them I am changing my ways every single day, ever lesson, every minute.  They deserve more, better, and sometimes even less.

So what have I changed, my big things I have documented, but there are so many little things as well, and they add up:
  • No more stay in your desk.  I used to have designated work time where students could leave their desk, now they can get up and move somewhere closer while I am speaking or while something else is happening.  I have a lot less squinting and fiddling going on now.
  • No more sending kids to the office.  I used to send kids to the office sometimes, feeling frustrated and not quite sure how to handle situations.  While this may also be because of my incredible class, I have had to send one 2 students all year for situations that were bigger than just my classroom.  Now I ask students to take a break, think about their actions and we find the time to talk.  So far so good.
  • No more set projects (well almost anyway).  Now when students ask if they can do a different type of project I always think "Why not?"  Often their ideas are much stronger than what I am coming up with anyway.
  • No more silent in the hallways.  As adults we converse quietly as we walk in the hallways, my students get to do the same.  This doesn't mean loud voices or out of control behavior.  They use whisper voices and are getting adept at walking like adults do.
  • No more assuming I know why.  I used to assume all of the time, why a student didn't do something, know something, or did something.  Now I ask instead; their explanations are way better than my assumptions.
  • No more "My classroom and you are just visiting."  The students take care of the classroom because it is theirs.  Granted my level of orderliness may be a little higher than theirs but they stp up when they need to.
  • No more "My Goal."  We are learning together and so the goals are all of ours.  We discuss our goals of learning, why they are set and how we can achieve them.  I may be the that knows the direction but we can all steer. 

6 comments:

Diana Fingal said...

I love this list, especially "no more assumptions." I am not a teacher, but I am a parent and I am going to make my own list based on this model. Thanks for your blog. I love it.

Greg said...

This is a great list. If all teachers would try just one of the things on your list imagine the change that would take place. I especially like number 4 on your list. Why should students be silent in the hallway? I don't think educators question themselves enough about why they do things. I bet many would have a hard time finding an answer other than "because that's how we've always done it." Thank you for the great post. I will try to change these habits.

FunInABox said...

Great post! Often it's a simple change that seems minor on the surface which creates fundamental change. The "Why not?" is what we should be continually asking ourselves. When the kids have an idea that we think won't work (maybe from past experience with a completely different group) but we let them try it, suprisingly often it works remarkably well. If not, they see for themselves "why not" and are more willing to listen to our input or come up with more of their own.

FunInABox said...

Great post! Often it's a simple change that seems minor on the surface which creates fundamental change. The "Why not?" is what we should be continually asking ourselves. When the kids have an idea that we think won't work (maybe from past experience with a completely different group) but we let them try it, suprisingly often it works remarkably well. If not, they see for themselves "why not" and are more willing to listen to our input or come up with more of their own.

Paddy said...

Thank you for this post. Although it is the last day before half term I am going to try some of these today. Especially my goal and why not!!

Melissa Dallinger said...

I have learned to listen to their stories. Often the "bad" behaviors are just a way of letting us know there is more going on! This year I let my kids have more control about what we would learn together...the engagement is incredible. Great post!

 

Copyright © 2010 Blogging through the Fourth Dimension | Blogger Templates by Splashy Templates | Free PSD Design by Amuki