This past Monday I took part in a blog series, “52 teachers 52 lessons” moderated by Tom DeRosa. Once a week for a year, various teachers will post their answers to the following question:
“What is the most important advice you can give to other teachers?”
Above is the Wordle of the past 22 lessons posted that I created using Wordle.net. Below is the advice I shared.
Teach in a Dynamic Environment
When students walk into my classroom, I want them to be motivated to learn. Sitting in desks that face you is boring! Create a dynamic environment full of rich sayings, learning stations, and student expression. In my high school classroom, we would sometimes go outside for lessons or sit on pillows on the floor for discussions. Students learn in different ways! Moreover, environment impacts mood and behavior. I now set my classroom up for cooperative learning and to cater to different learning styles. The workforce is dynamic and students will have to be prepared to work in a variety of settings. Students will probably never work in an environment with a desk facing the boss all day!
I have taught what many would term “trouble” students. I learned quickly that getting angry only spurs the situation. What works best is allowing “cool-off time” for the student and teacher. If you have stations set-up, the student can find some alone time. When you feel the student has calmed down, then speak with the student in an area away from the other students. Find out what is the real problem behind the outburst. Most of the time you find out that your students are juggling some serious issues and your talk with them can help them more than the punishment.
My students offer me feedback through dialogue journals, surveys, and conversations. Critiques are opportunities for growth. Along with the criticisms are incredible heartfelt messages of what a difference I have made. Therefore, I am never afraid to hear my students’ opinions. Teachers should constantly self-reflect to ensure their teaching strategies and lessons are evolving and purpose-driven.
What advice would you give to teachers?
Tom still has plenty of openings for you to share your advice on his blog I Want to Teach Forever! To submit an entry just e-mail the 300 word post at teachforeverATgmailDOTcom.
Your boot camp challenge for this week:
Submit your advice to the “52 teachers 52 lessons” project or you can post your advice to the comments below! Make sure to include a link to your post in the comments below!
Would you like to be a guestblogger and share your teaching experiences with us? Please, contact me to be featured on a future post!
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