Let's share some positives

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Linguist92021, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 19, 2019

    Now that most of us went back to work, I thought it would be great to share some positive thoughts from the first week

    For me:
    - I had almost a month off. By the last week I was way too well rested (if there is such thing) and ready to go back to work
    - I was really looking forward to see my students and it was really great to see them.

    This school year I started teaching independent studies. I knew there would be so much paper work (there is but I caught on quickly) and that I wouldn't have to deal with student misbehavior ( I don't, because I'm dealing with them one on one), but I didn't know I could actually get this close t my students.
    I have 1 hour to spend with each student, and it doesn't mean we actually spend one hours, they turn in their work, I go over their new assignment and give it to them. Then a lot of them just get started, r still finishing old work. But most of the time we do spend time together, we talk about anything, sometimes important things (student being pregnant, goals after graduation, how to get to graduation with them being so behind) but other times it's just fun stuff.
    But if you think about this, high school teachers, when have you had 1 hour to spend a week with each of your student? I didn't. And there were kids I never actually had a lengthy conversation with due to lack of time, lack of interest from the student's part, even lack of need from my part (I was chasing after the kids that were failing or had behavior issues).
    But what I'm doing now really enables me to reach my kids and help them out. They need a lot of help because there is a reason they're doing independent studies.
    Here is just one example. I have a boy, let's call him John, he would come in to his weekly appointment and stay most of the day (not just the hour) and do his work. Unfortunately he was always so behind and this was very frustrating to me because it just messes up the paperwork, it's confusing and takes twice that much work from my part. So I was frustrated. He kept yawning constantly, I even made jokes that he was putting me asleep. He is a very sweet and respectful student, but never really opened up to me.
    It wasn't until after 6 weeks that I found out from him that he's working on the fields 6 days a week, 12-14 hours a day. He has only 1 day off and on that day he comes in and spends it at school doing his work. He kept yawning because he never really got enough sleep. Once I heard that, I looked at him a very different way. He is actually trying hard and doing his best not just sitting at home being lazy and playing video games. This changed everything, he talks to me more, and opens up a little bit and finally caught up pretty well. I was able to work with him schedule of assignments that worked better for him.
    This made think that if he was in my classroom I would have not had the time to really get to the bottom of this and figure out how to help him.
    I'm so happy I've made the decision to do independent study.
    The good part is that I will be teaching 1 or 2 English classes for our independent study students so I still get to teach in a classroom setting. I'm very happy with how everything turned out.
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jan 19, 2019

    We have been back for two and a half weeks. We haven’t had a snow day, which is unusual for us. My students are studying immigration and ancestry. They’re having fun and doing a nice job.
     
    Linguist92021 likes this.
  4. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    Jan 20, 2019

    I haven't been on here in a long time! Happy to add to the positive thread!

    1. We finished exams/EOCs last week. Still don't have scores for mine (hopefully Tuesday), but I feel like the kids worked hard. That's all I can ask!

    2. Monday off. Yay!

    3. Teacher workday on Tuesday. Yay!

    4. As usual, I'm in my "I did a terrible job last semester and need to do better this semester" mode. 17 years of teaching and I still do this, always with the "THIS time I'm going to get it right!" feeling. LOL! I love the chance to reinvent myself in this career. I know teachers who have their binders of tried-and-true lesson plans, in order from day one until day 90 of the semester. I always envy those teachers. Maybe I'll get there one day. I figure by the time I retire, I might finally have a clue how to do this job! LOL!

    5. Regarding #4, I really haven't been a very good teacher for the past few years. The spark definitely went out, and it has been a struggle. Some of that, I know now, was related to a health issue that got addressed this past summer. Physically I feel much better now, and that is definitely making a difference!

    6. I'm writing a brand new poetry unit to start off the new semester and I'm really geeking out over it. Like...I'm writing lesson plans for fun this weekend. What a dork!
     
    Linguist92021 likes this.
  5. whizkid

    whizkid Comrade

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    Jan 20, 2019

    It's almost February and I already have my next day off planned. Then Spring Break, Easter, and then summer break! Now that's positive!
     
    txmomteacher2 and Linguist92021 like this.
  6. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    Jan 20, 2019

    I've wanted to learn how to play piano since I was a small child, but finances were never available for it growing up, and weren't available in college. When I first started teaching there wasn't money available, nor did I have the time, just starting out. Then came grad school, which created a money and time issue again. I inherited a huge, beautiful, upright piano when my grandma died-I was the only one who wanted it.
    My best friend's mom is a beautiful pianist. She gets calls from people performing semi-professionally all the time to accompany them. She's absolutely lovely at it. She used to teach, but back in the mid '90s she got very sick, and very nearly passed away. She was extremely sick for over a year so she stopped teaching. Now that she's retired, her kids are grown and her husband's passed away she agreed to teach me for free, I'd give her pointers on teaching pedagogy and not judge her teaching so she can get back into it with someone in non-judgmental as a guinea pig.
    Anyway, so how this relates to teaching. I told my students because we have "What awesome thing happened to you this week?" time on Friday, and I participate with them. I've realized despite having a solid background in music (a conservatory from San Francisco once requested a change in performance order because they were going after my public high school at a festival and didn't want to get judged unfairly right after us we were that good), I stink at the piano.
    I tell my kids what I'm working on, what's hard and how I'm practicing until my hands hurt because I want it so bad. I tell them how hard it is for me, even though I want it, but I know if I practice enough I'll eventually get it.
    This daily reminder that I'm struggling learning something too, seems to be having a huge impact on my students. Weekly assessment scores are going up, homework completion rates are up, kids seem to be more willing to try something hard and scary. I have a few major behavior problems in my class and they are behaving better than they ever have before. I've even had one parent say to me that, "Whatever you're doing, keep it up. This is the first time Little Billy (not real name), has ever wanted to come to school since kindergarten." It's actually amazing to me how just a simple reminder that we all struggle with things can help little strugglers out a ton!
     

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