Thursday, April 10, 2014

Five Successes of my First Year

It's April.  Just one day away from Spring Break, and I couldn't help but reflect on this past year.  I realize that I had made mistakes on a daily basis, but this learning curve was expected.

But as I look at my students work on the last day in school before Spring Break, I can't help but feel proud of them!  They were totally on it!

I owe all of that to my advisors that have given my wise guidance! In this post I want to list the five pieces of advice that I have followed.  It has truly made the greatest difference for me. I had a whole lot of great days, and only a few bad ones.  So, without further ado, here they are...

1. I spent 2 months on classroom management and procedures.  I am so happy I spent so much time on classroom management.  It completely paid off during the rest of the school year.  The kids knew their classroom procedures, and I didn't have to waste any time with menial tasks.  Here is the list of procedures I used for my classroom.  I added and took away procedures at my convenience.

2. I started with extrinsic motivations, but weaned my students off of the rewards to allow them to have intrinsic motivations.  In the first few months I gave out rewards to motivate my students extrinsically, but I gave them less and less with time.  Now, I only have rewards for 2 of my students.  I love that my students are motivated to learn for learning's sake.

3. I kept my relationship with my students friendly, but not informal. I am not my students' best friend, and I don't pretend to be.  I love them, and they know it.  I do not cross that line so they don't think I am their best friend.  I need them to know that I still have authority.

4. I follow through with my consequences.  My students know that if I give them guidelines with consequences, then I would follow through with the consequences if they didn't follow the guidelines. That is why my consequences are doable for me. :)

5.  I was among my students throughout the day. I ate with them during recess and lunch (I had to supervise them).  I sat with them at their desks.  I walked around during quizzes and tests.  I walked with them from one class to another.  I made sure I was with them, not just in the classroom.  I made sure they saw me as a person with feelings, emotion, dreams, and nightmares.  It allowed me to create strong relationships with my students.

Well, I am done.  And it's Spring Break!!!!!!

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