Update on Finding the Silver Lining

If I only I had read Teach like a Champion 27 years ago. Okay maybe 10 years ago. I wasn't probably ready to read it sooner. It is still intimidating for me to think about being consistent. I am consistently kind. I am consistently thinking about food. I am consistently thinking about how I can make the content more meaningful. I am consistently thinking about how I can become a better leader. How do I let that kid and oh, that kid too,  know that they off task, what the consequences are, and at the same time, not interrupt myself or the learning environment? Is it okay for the other students to chime in and monitor each other, as in, "hey be quiet, the teacher is talking." I am consisting believing that 14 and 15 year olds can monitor themselves, be respectful, helpful, do their homework, and all want to work as hard as necessary to master the material. I did...Okay, so I was really weird. I wanted my teacher's approval. I wanted them to know they could count on me to be prepared, to answer questions, to be want to know what they had to say. I thought my teachers were the most intelligent, honest, important people, ever.

So the teacher next door asked me "what have you done? It is so quiet next door!" It helps that we have been studying for finals. It helps that I have adopted the "100%" strategy for giving instructions. It helped that I asked my students," What does a learning environment look like?" as an exit ticket.  I was so touched that EVERY student had a positive idea about what this looked like!

This student is quite the chatter box. Very smart and came to me mid-term from a Geometry Teacher.  She has a major crush on a Junior in the class. He has had his up and down moments, from being thoughtful to walking out of class with a bathroom pass and not returning.Hers is a pretty traditional look at classroom behavior:

Here is his:  "A learning community likes like a room where people are working together to open their minds to something new. It is taught by somebody interested in their subject and is willing to help. I don't care if he is the biggest BSer in the world. I love him and how his mnd works. I don't think I could have said it better. I think I will send this to his mom.

This student is struggling significantly. He has a particularly hard time in math. In my class he is either trying to sleep or bugging his best friend. He has A and B's in Ag Science, Digital Media, and Physical Education. He has grease under his nails. I am sure, although he is only 15, he can drive a motorcycle, a truck, and tow skiers on a boat. I would trust him with my car, to build a fence. I am jealous that when the world comes to hell in a hand basket, he will survive because he's got skills.

Whether or not these kids lived by the rules they see are necessary, they sure in the heck know what it takes for an entire class to be a learning community. Maybe they just needed a reminder that they knew.

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