New Year, New Commitments

For many of you, coming back to school after the holidays means the start of a new semester.  This is a great time to re-teach any classroom management issues that need addressed.  If something has been “driving you crazy” in your classes, take care of it now!  Even if you aren’t starting a new semester, you can still approach this time as a “new year”.  It’s not a reflection on your teaching ability, it’s just a fact that sometimes, we need to re-teach some topics.

When I had student teachers that came after the beginning of the year, I made certain they knew that the management of our classes didn’t just “happen”!  You have to teach those skills to your students and when you do, it makes life better for everyone. 

A couple of quotes that come to mind when you are trying to decide if it’s appropriate or worth your time to tackle those management issues are:

“We’re not going to do things in this class that stop me from teaching or prevent others from learning”.  I think it’s important for students to know you have that expectation.  If it means you have to “practice” your “stop and go” signal, finding partners quickly, or whatever it may be, then take time to do that.  But….make sure the students know why you are spending class time practicing those management techniques.  It’s not because it’s what you really want to do but it’s what needs to be done in order to help you teach and others learn.

“Kids don’t care what you know until they know you care.”  I love that quote!  And I think by making certain that your classes run smoothly, you let your students know you care about them and you care about doing a good job. 

I hope you have a great second half to your school year, and lots of great teaching and learning take place in your classes!