How has the culture changed since you implemented these commitments?
I have always wanted to have lunch with students during their lunch hour, so I wonder how your experience was. Did you have students asking you why you did not have lunch with them?
I think that having students role play out some experiences is a great way to teach and to learn about choice words. I think this can help to develop empathy and really start to build a culture of respect.
You have a really active plan for Never Too Late to learn. Faster turn around, more check ins, helping students to plan, I think that this will really help them get on track. What are GRIT letters? I have not heard of these and want to see if I can implement them in my classroom. I also think that celebrating students work in other classes is such a great idea, that is something that I am going to start this next week.
That is great that you sit with your students at lunch time! Do you choose a different few students to sit with each day? Do you sit with them every day at lunch? I ask because I think it is a great idea, but I know I use some of my lunch times for personal decompression time.
I really like the idea of putting a reminder in the classroom about “do no harm” as well as having related reminders all around the school campus. I think this behavior is tough sometimes for middle schoolers (from personal experience) but reminding them visibly of the practical ways it can implemented is important.
Role playing situations sounds like a great opportunity for students. I will do my best to keep that in mind for science presentations. Thank you for the reminder of this beneficial activity.
Amy, I agree that a faster turnaround for student assignments would help them work on the concept of “it is never too late to learn.” I have been trying to find ways to hold peer review sessions while simultaneously assess student work myself. I am not good at it yet, but I do know faster feedback provides students information they need to continue learning, fix a mistake, or submit work that they have forgotten to turn in.
Amy, It makes such a difference when you sit with a student during lunch and spend time outside the classroom. I just remembered I had a student ask me to sit with her to lunch. That's on my to do list tomorrow.
That's a great idea on teaching them to prioritize their assignments and embedding habits.
I noticed you started proactive circles. Are students more open to discussion and participation since you started this?
I enjoyed the photos, your mission statement and presentation.
I really like your use of pictures in your Prezi, it shows how connected you are to your community. I notice you included your colleagues with students in people deserving praise. Improving staff morale and support is a focus at my site, so I'm curious in how have you worked on this (or plan to work on it)?
You mention many great actions to uphold these pillars, but a few stood out. I love that you mention a SMILE. It is simple and easy, and sometime we even need to fake it depending on our day, but we can always provide it. I too like the idea of proactive instead of reactive circles. Roleplaying with students is also a good outlet for them to be creative. You seem to accomplish this with your amazing stage and classroom layout.
Keep leading the way!
Thank you everyone for your comments! As for lunchtime, we have always sat with our students all lunch and do not have a teacher lunch room. We have already built this into the school culture. Something that I am paying more attention to is the area in which I sit or supervise. I used to spread it out more, but I need to pay more attention to this. I realized that I have not spent as much time playing games outside with them, so that is on my list. As for GRIT letters, there is an article that I will try to locate, but I do believe that it is mentioned in the book as well. These are basically letters sent home when students show great determination, perseverance, or excellence. The students really get excited and the parents mention that they tape them to their walls and above their beds! Please let me know if you guys have any other questions.
Just out of curiosity, have you started the cross content lessons? I have found that by incorporating different subject areas into a lesson, students seem to make an effort to engage the material. Hopefully, you can continue finding ways to use proactive language to encourage students; to the point where it becomes a habit! Keep up the great work!
I think you make a great point about letters home to parents and even students. Just a simple note home to communicate improvements, and positive behaviors could do a lot to boost a students self-esteem and performance.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.