Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Have Managed

Image from here

This year, I have managed
  • To go without rewards and still have students work hard
  • To go without punishment and still be respected by my students
  • To shift the focus from "what's my grade?" to "what are we trying to learn?"
  • To have 23 responsible students that are learning to self-advocate
  • To not teach to the test, in fact, we really don't do tests but show our knowledge in a  different way
  • To teach study skills without boring students to tears
  • To share responsibility for the room
  • To have hands-on learning and still cover all of the standards
  • To see growth in all of my students and even better to have them recognize it themselves
  • To have students groan at the end of the day because they don't want to stop their work
  • To have students discuss without raising their hand
  • To not manage my students but have a classroom where we each know our part and responsibility
  • To expand my family by 23 students and change
What have you managed?  How can I help?

2 comments:

Unknown said...

I love your education blog (fashion blog is fun, too) but this post reminds me that we often don't take time to say what is possible and what is good.

I have been able to:

Co-build an online Statistics course

Enrich talented students in many schools with online courses with webinars

Learn Moodle 2.2 mostly on my own

Research and share best practices in online course management

I like your accomplishments better....LOL!

@educatoral said...

Pernille,

I feel like I've put some great things in place.

I don't reward my kids with grades or tickets or candy or anything.

I don't punish kids with grades either.

I integrate technology such that kids can use iMacs, Netbooks and iPads to blog and use social media to connect and communicate with those in other classes.

I offer choice and help and I don't impose rules but rather ask for kid input and share what I can support. Kids get to make suggestions and I give them the opportunity to make good choices as well as to mess up.

And yet I don't feel that I have created the learning environment that I dream of having. Maybe it's because I only see each group of kids for about 50 minutes a day and every other teacher rewards and punishes with grades, tickets, and even candy. I spend a majority of my time every period trying to convince kids that learning Science can be fun and that we can do so in fun ways becasue they'd rather, rightly so, they're kids, play iPad games and socialize instead of working.

So I find myself stressed out every single day because my cajoling feels like fighting a losing battle even though I try different strategies because I know that no one way will fit every kid. Kids aren't stretching their thinking to find ways to learn that work for them, they just play games, socialize and give up on the Science we're doing.

So I end up moving on even though some kids aren't done because I can't wait too long and keep coming up with cool stuff for those who finished to do. I've tried only moving on those that are done but at some point I honor some kids' choice to not do a project.

I tell kids that I can't look their parents in the eyes and say that I am supporting their choice to do no work day after day.

I'm sorry for being a downer but I'm losing sight of the good things because out of 134 kids too many aren't ought in yet. It's bringing me down and I fight that feeling daily to have fun and laugh with my kids because they are fun.

 

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