Important Advice for Teachers

Teacher Advice Wordle by http://www.wordle.net/

This past Monday I took part in a blog series, “52 teachers 52 lessons” moderated by Tom DeRosa. Once a week for a year, various teachers will post their answers to the following question:

“What is the most important advice you can give to other teachers?”

Above is the Wordle of the past 22 lessons posted that I created using Wordle.net. Below is the advice I shared.

Teach in a Dynamic Environment

When students walk into my classroom, I want them to be motivated to learn. Sitting in desks that face you is boring! Create a dynamic environment full of rich sayings, learning stations, and student expression. In my high school classroom, we would sometimes go outside for lessons or sit on pillows on the floor for discussions. Students learn in different ways! Moreover, environment impacts mood and behavior. I now set my classroom up for cooperative learning and to cater to different learning styles. The workforce is dynamic and students will have to be prepared to work in a variety of settings. Students will probably never work in an environment with a desk facing the boss all day!

Pause

I have taught what many would term “trouble” students. I learned quickly that getting angry only spurs the situation. What works best is allowing “cool-off time” for the student and teacher. If you have stations set-up, the student can find some alone time. When you feel the student has calmed down, then speak with the student in an area away from the other students. Find out what is the real problem behind the outburst. Most of the time you find out that your students are juggling some serious issues and your talk with them can help them more than the punishment.

Self Reflect

My students offer me feedback through dialogue journals, surveys, and conversations. Critiques are opportunities for growth. Along with the criticisms are incredible heartfelt messages of what a difference I have made. Therefore, I am never afraid to hear my students’ opinions. Teachers should constantly self-reflect to ensure their teaching strategies and lessons are evolving and purpose-driven.

What advice would you give to teachers?

Tom still has plenty of openings for you to share your advice on his blog I Want to Teach Forever! To submit an entry just e-mail the 300 word post at teachforeverATgmailDOTcom.

Your boot camp challenge for this week:

Submit your advice to the “52 teachers 52 lessons” project or you can post your advice to the comments below! Make sure to include a link to your post in the comments below!

Would you like to be a guestblogger and share your teaching experiences with us? Please, contact me to be featured on a future post!

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Building the Lesson Wall

While gathering materials for this post, I was distracted by photographs, Power Points, and videos of my teaching experiences in the US. I miss those days of teaching to a room full of 30 students. I miss chaperoning proms and attending sports games, awards ceremonies, and so forth. Now, I enjoy much smaller classrooms. The adults and children I teach make me proud, but I only get to spend a limited time with them.

End of the Year

The end of the school year has arrived for many of you! Therefore, I bet you can empathize with saying good-bye to another group of students you managed to put your magic touch upon! In honor of your achievement to once again positively influence lives, I would like you to join me in building a memorial in the form of a wall of your names and favorite lessons. These lessons are the ones in which you witnessed the students shine, outdo themselves, come out of their shells, and enjoy the learning journey. Any visitors to this wall will be able to use these wonderful ideas in their classrooms.

Building the Wall

The instructions are simple:

  • Double click on any part of the WallWisher Favorite Lessons wall and a sticky note will appear.
  • In 160 words or less describe one of your favorite lessons, with some of the following information:
    • the grade level
    • the subject matter
    • what the students enjoyed about the lesson
  • Attach a link to an image, video, VoiceThread, blog, Glogster, podcast, web site, or document that represents your lesson.
  • Feel free to add more than one favorite lesson or add an additional sticky note with more links.

You can also post on a larger view of the wall!

This idea was inspired by two other WallWisher walls. Please stop by and visit Nik Peachey’s incredible wall of Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers and Ana Maria’s fascinating wall of Favorite Films.

Your boot camp challenge for this week:

Explore the wall!

Do you have a strategy for helping English Language Learners in the classroom? Please, contact me to have your idea featured in an upcoming post!


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