A Matter of Choice

Haim Ginott once said” I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in my classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make my students life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or hurt, humor or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and my student humanized or de-humanized.”

Upon reading this, I am constantly reminded that all our “choices” have a consequence. Only we are in control of this.

Food for Thought:

Stop and Think: Be Proactive vs. Reactive

Be mindful of difficult moments

Advertisements

The Best

According to my Chinese fortune cookie, he who always does his best, his best will better grow. These are powerful words, as they remind me off all the opportunities we are presented with each day to become the best that we can be. What we need to realize is this requires both feedback AND a willingness to change.

Food for Thought:

Be still and listen

Be receptive of critical feedback from colleagues and administrators

Try to collaborate on a daily basis with grade level colleagues to share ideas

Think About Tomorrow

According to my Chinese fortune cookie, school is a building which has four walls with tomorrow inside. This particular fortune makes me wonder what we do as effective educators to make our students more college and career ready on their journeys to “tomorrow.” Think about one way you can stretch at least one kids thinking in your next lesson.

Food for Thought:

Increased amounts of rigor to expand thinking

Increased opportunities for students to share and/or explain thinking

Increased amounts of accountable talk

Be Still and Listen

Robyn Jackson once said, “When teachers help too much, they reinforce the idea that it’s about getting it right and not about the struggle for learning.”

I will be the first to admit, as a 22 year veteran teacher, I still struggle with letting go so the kids can “struggle”.   However, when I/we do let go, the results are amazing. Think about one tweak you can make to your instruction that allows for more student led discourse.

Food for Thought:

Increased opportunities for students to share thinking and/or explain thinking

Celebrate successes as a class

Let students “work through” the struggles

Eliphas Levi once said, “A good teacher must be able to put himself in the place of those who find learning hard.”

As the first six weeks of school comes to an end and one round of assessments under our belts, it is time to stop and think about what we are doing to meet the needs of ALL students, especially those who are clearly struggling. What plans are set in place for these students to succeed?

Food for Thought:

Targeted and Differentiated Instruction to address immediate gaps

Frequent communication with parents and families regarding progress

Accountability for every student

Winding Down

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the final weeks of another school year, take time to reflect. Think about the Top 10 and Low 10. Are you sending them with tools to succeed in the next grade?

Food for Thought:

  • Reflect on Strengths and Challenges
  • Reflect on current interventions
  • Think about next steps – what can you share with new teacher that will make this child successful

Motivation

Jim Rohn once said, “If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is an education to turn him around.”

Think about any students you feel might be headed down the wrong road. What educational opportunities are your providing in an effort to educate. What supports are you providing to turn these students around?