With this post I end my blogging for the 2011-2012 school year. I’d like to thank you for visiting my page while on your quest to improve your classroom management and organization. I’d also like to thank Scholastic for the opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas with all of you.
So, let’s review. What did you learn? Here are some of the gems that I hope you were able to collect as you perused the blog this year.
- Allow for Serendipity. A highly effective teacher is well-planned but recognizes the teachable moments. Do not rush through these moments. Seize them! These moments, my friends, are the moments you should live for each day.
- From the mouth of Mary Poppins, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” Find a way to make even the most boring lesson a bit more fun. Add music, adjust the lighting, teach from a new location, teach it in a British accent -- do something to make it memorable!
- Reducing distractions will improve the amount of student engagement time. It’s all about maximizing the amount of time students are tuned into your program.
- I experimented with an online math supplement, a new Positive Behavior Support system, and Storia this year. I encourage you to try something new, but not everything. Choose a few things to test out. Give yourself permission to be less than perfect at these new technologies, programs, or classroom management systems. Set a time line where you will evaluate the effectiveness. If system is working, keep it up. If it isn’t working, then stop!
- Seek the bright spots. From a stain on a shirt to a pimple on the face, we tend to focus on the things that are imperfect. When you feel overwhelmed in your classroom, make a conscious effort to look for the bright spots in your day -- a student who gets it, a lesson that went well, or the fact that your staff bathroom has toilet paper. To take a lesson from this short Cherokee legend, if you choose to feed the negative wolf, that is the one that gets stronger.
Like a pebble tossed into a pond, you will never know how far your impact will go. My favorite moments of the year did not come from the pebble toss, but the ripple hitting a distant shore. When I am emailed by former students, invited to a graduation party, or see the Integrity Brothers, I am reminded that the ripple is what I should aim for, not necessarily the splash.
Enjoy your last few weeks, recharge those batteries, and then start planning your pebble tosses for 2012-2013.
What “A-ha” moments did you have this year?
2i2 is a trademark of Mr. Vasicek.