We are doing a book study at RCS with the book “Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth”. It’s a very short, very readable book. I’m going to cross post my discussion board posts from the study’s Canvas page here to share out a bit more of what we’re doing.
1. If you knew you would have visitors in your class or in your building what would you address with your students before the visitors arrived? Why not tackle that now?
I have my classroom expectations posted clearly at the front of my room. I try to review them EVERY DAY, and I model what those expectations look like. “Does it look like I am ready for class?” “Am I meeting expectations if…?” We also practice attention getters so that when they are necessary they work.
2. How do we respond to academic and behavioral mistakes differently? Why do we have such different approaches?
I don’t think I respond to them differently. I do a lot of pedagogical research and extra reading on my own and find that the two are extremely linked. If a student is not performing well in my class, I have a conversation with them. I let students put blame on me, or I frame the discussion about what I am or am not doing to support them. It’s my belief that if a student is acting out in class, they probably got bored, or lost, or got lost because they were bored and act out because of that. I try to remediate both the same way by starting each conversation with “Am I going at a speed that is comfortable for you? Am I clarifying things when I see that you look confused?” I do then ask students if they are doing everything they can to meet expectations, and remind them that I am doing my best to do my part in the learning process and they need to do their part. I finally follow up with “What can I do to support you moving forward?”
3. What are the skills we assume students should just have, the ones we think we shouldn’t teach?
I know that every student comes from different backgrounds, so I try not to assume what skills they have.
4. Share a time with a student when “I’m proud of you” and/or “I’m sorry” helped to solidify your relationship.
My professional goal this year is to be more in touch with parents, and I’ve called quite a few parents/guardians this year to compliment their children, and maybe slip in a “we need to work on meeting class expectations”, leading with a compliment has really helped!