Good, Better, Best

St. Jerome once said, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest….Til your good is better and your better is best.” As we reflect on our own teaching experiences, how often do we encourage students to put forth their “best” effort? What structures do we have in place for students to reflect on their learning experiences?

Food for Thought:

  • Consistently encourage students to put forth their best effort
  • Increased opportunities to provide feedback to students, allowing for revisions to work
  • Work with students and parents to set reasonable goals for success
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The Importance of Tiny

When speaking about the power of tiny habits, James clear says that “So often we convince ourselves that change is only meaningful if there is some large, visible outcome associated with it. Whether it is losing weight, starting a business, traveling the world or any other goal, we often put pressure on ourselves to make some big improvement that everyone will talk about.” He goes on to say that “improving by just 1% isn’t notable, and sometimes not even noticeable, but it can be just as meaningful in the long run.”

Food for Thought:

  • Small improvements add up over time
  • Accentuate small gains with students, particularly with struggling students
  • Take time to celebrate with students and parents

Imagine and Dream

William Arthur Ward once said, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” As we reflect on our own teaching experiences, what structures do we have put in place for students to be creative and share their thinking?

Food for Thought:

  • Increased opportunities for peer-to-peer discourse
  • Increased opportunities for students to demonstrate knowledge and/or mastery
  • Increased collaboration between classrooms

The Choices We Make

J.K. Rowling once said, “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” As we reflect on our own teaching experiences, we must not forget to think about the choices we make. Do you choose to be proactive or reactive to difficult situations that you encounter with your students?

Food for Thought:

  • Be receptive to feedback from your colleagues and principal
  • Increased opportunities for student voice
  • Ask for support and/or assistance when needed
  • Increased amounts of common planning time with grade level peers

Solitude

Laurence Sterne once said, “In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.” As we think about our own teaching and/or learning experiences, how often do we establish a calm and peaceful learning environment?

Food for Thought:

  • Incorporate mindfulness breaks into a typical day
  • Provide opportunities for students to “be still and listen”
  • Provide for effective transition and/or movement breaks

Discipline

Discipline is a process that uses teaching, modeling, and other appropriate strategies to maintain behaviors that ensure a safe, orderly, and productive learning environment by changing unacceptable behavior to acceptable behavior.

In thinking about your own teaching experiences, how often do you reinforce appropriate behaviors? How often do you focus on the inappropriate behaviors?

Food for Thought:

  • Recognize and reinforce ALL positive behaviors, even the “baby steps” that some kids make
  • Work with parents and families to create a successful plan for success
  • Explicitly teach, model, and practice appropriate behaviors and/or expected outcomes

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