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"Act enthusiastic and you become enthusiastic."

Act as though Every Subject You Teach Is Your "Favorite"

How often have we heard a teacher say to students, "well, word problems were never my favorite either, but we have to do them, so let's get busy with them."  Once I heard a teacher announce to her class, "Look, I'm not very good at writing essays either, so we'll be learning together."  Imagine a doctor saying to you, the patient, "Look, your particular illness is my least favorite to treat, but you're sick, so let's see what we can do..." or better yet, "i'm not a  very good surgion so we'll be learning together!"  Now please do not misunderstand.  I am in no way suggesting that "acting" enthusiastic is enough.  No "enthusiastic" surgion will operate on me unless he is highly qualified!  however, I do want to feel that my highly qualified surgion enjoys what he does and thereby continues to improve his skills.  By the same token, "acting" enthusiastic in the classroom is not enough.  You must be, of course, highly qualified to teach the subject matter.  However, being hightly qualifed without being highly enthusiastic will not make for successful teaching.  It is true that every subject we teach may not be our favorite.  The trick is not to announce that to your students.  You see, student enthusiasm tends to mirror teacher enthusiasm.  If you should ever doubt this, follow a group of students from an enthusiastic teacher's classroom to a nonenthusastic teacher's classroom.  You'll withness an entirely different group of students, or so it will seem.  So be the most enthusiastic person you know with whatever you teach.  

101 "Answers" for New Teachers & their mentors

Rules and Procedures Simplified

  • A rule regulates a serious offense.
  • A procedure is simply a way that you want something done in your classroom - the same way, every time.
  • When a student breaks a rule, a consequence follows.
  • When a student, does not follow a procedure, you remind him of the procedure and practice it with him if necessary.
  • You should never have more than five rules.
  • You should have many procedures.
  • An example of a rule:  We agree not to hit each other.  (Fighting is a serious offense.)
  • Examples of procedures include how to walk to lunch, how to ask permission to speak, how to get into and out of groups, what to do if you need a pencil sharpened, and how to pass in papers.

                                                   -The Ten-Minute Inservice

Welcome Credential Candidates!

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"The inner landscape of many children is full of mines ready to explode upon careless contact. Any insulting remark can set off an explosion." Haim Ginott

Avoid Sarcasm

"What time is it?" asked a student.  "I'll tell you what time it is.  It's time for you to be quiet," answered the teacher, in a less than pleasant tone.  Having been seated in the classroom for about 15 minutes, I knew that this student had been busily and quietly at work.  "Why the sarcasm?" I wondered.  A few minutes later, most of the students had finished their assignments.  Naturally some of them began whispering to one another.  "Excuse me!" barked the teacher.  You're supposed to be working, not talking."  "We're finished," said some of the students. "Well, I had better not find any mistakes on your papers," answered the teacher." I can't figure out problem 4," said another student. "well, maybe if the rest of your classmates would be engaging their brains instead of their mouths, you might be able to concentrate better," huffed the teacher.  By this point, almost everyone was talking.  The teacher got angrier and became more sarcastic, which finally led to a hostile confrontation with a student.  "Open your mouth one more time, and you're going straight to the office," yelled the teacher.  "I'm not going to the office unless everyone else goes," siad the student, "because they're all talking, too!"

This situation, of course, went from bad to worse.  And this teacher felt victimized by her students.  In actuality, however, her negative tone and sarcastic words were provoking the same behaviors in her students - not to mention the fact that there was too much "down" time where students had nothing to do.  Therefore, her lack of management led to talking which made her angry and evoked sarcasm.  But regardless of what came first, the fact is that this teacher was using sarcasm, and there is simply no place for sarcasm in the classroom.  Sarcasm accomplishes nothing positive, it's completely unprofessional, and it shows a lack of control on the part of the teacher.  Most students in our classrooms have to deal with enough cynicism already in their lives.  We, as teachers, are supposed to lift them, to build their self-seteem, to encourage their endeavors, and to model appropriate behavior.  Using sarcasm will help to accomplish none of these things.

What time is ti?  It's time for all of us to take a good look at our behaviors with students and refrain from using any kind of comments that may even "hint" of sarcasm.

                                                                                                                101 "Answers" for New Teachers & Their Mentors

When students are clear on exactly what they can and cannot do in the classroom, and when they know that the teacher is consistent in enforcing rules and practicing procedures, they are  much more likely to actually follow the rules and procedures.  Ask any effective classroom manager!Cooperation.jpg
 

How has participating in Induction made you a better teacher?

"As a person who completed a graduate degree in music education, we did not spend a lot of time on teaching tools/strategies such as concept maps, student choice, pre-tests, cloze notes, etc.  When you teach music, very little of what you do is not tactile.  The inquiry process forced me to use these common teaching tools and incorporate them into my practice."


"Induction has made me a better teacher because it provided me with a support provider that has been in the field for a number of years.  The classroom observations was a great opportunity for me to improve my teaching skills = listening to my students better and being organized.  I also think that Induction allowed me to share my own experiences with other first year teachers in the same room.  This is real great since we often don't have opportunities to sit and talk about "how the day went."  Overall, Induction has been great."


"Participating in Induction has helped me become a better teach because it provided me with the structure a new teacher needs to be effective in the classroom.  I found that having a mentor teacher was very helpful when it came to navigating the world of a new school."

Growing up in Minnesota, as a child we had to walk to and from school every day.  Winters were no exception and they could be cold and snowy.  One of the most exciting things I can remember as we would be heading outside in the morning once again in the snow for school, was discovering the tulips peaking above the snow in the surrounding yards bursting with color against the white snow.  This brought excitement for a couple of reasons, one was it meant spring was on its way and two, the neighbors gladly cut the tulips to give to us so we could bring them to our teachers.

I wonder if the teachers received the same excitement from those tulips that so many of us kids did!  

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GET TO KNOW YOUR STUDENTS!

A veteran teacher was called in to observe a classroom teacher who was having a few management problems.  The biggest "problem" of all was with a student named Ricardo, who simply did not do much of his work.  As the veteran teacher entered the room, the teacher pointed out Ricardo.  He was seated in the back of the room, so the veteran teacher took a seat not far from him.  She immediately noticed that he had a large cast on his arm from his shoulder to his hand.  There were even metal pins sticking out at the elbow.  He had obviously had some type of terrible accident.  After class, the veteran teacher asked the classroom teacher, "What happened to Ricardo's arm?"  "I don't know," said the classroom teacher.  "Didn't you ask him?" inquired the veteran teacher.  "I teach 92 students a day," said the classroom teacher.  "I don't have time to know anything personal about any of them.  All I have time to do is teach!"  And this, of course, is why the classroom teacher was having management problems.  The veteran teacher recalled that at no time was there any real interaction between the classroom teacher and any of her students.  She lectured, and they took notes.  Believe it or not, Ricardo was even trying to take notes with his left hand, but he soon gave up.  Ricardo needed some help.  He deserved to have his notes "given" to him.  He deserved to have a teacher who took an interest in what had happened to him.  He deserved to have a teacher who cared about him as a person.  So did all of the other students.

It is of utmost importance that teachers get to know something about each of their students.  Remember that students, of any age, who believe that you genuinely care about them as people will give you their best efforts in order to please you.  No, you cannot know everything there is to know about every student, but knowing "something" about each of them is easily attainable and highly beneficial.

                                                                                                                          Taken from - 101 "Answers" for New Teachers and Their Mentors