- Working with peers - some students work super well, some don’t work at all, and some don’t care. I wonder if the kids understand that I’m doing it for them?
- Working with technology - I have incorporated videos as a supplement to my teaching - from biographical videos, to Saturday Night Live clips. They eat that stuff up...instant gratification.
- Understanding my “clients” - I feel that I am a very encouraging person, and my encouragement does not stop in the classroom. I encourage students to speak their minds, be respectful to their peers because everyone knows how difficult it is to speak up, voice their thoughts and opinions through writing and discussion, and tell them that THEY CAN. Even at 16, 17, 18, 45 years old, people need to be encouraged.
- Be human - I try to be REAL with my students. I make fun of myself, because I’m kind of a nerd. I let them know that it’s okay to laugh at yourself. I don’t talk to my students like children, I talk to them like they’re adults... I remember being in high school and hating when I felt patronized. I also really try to put aside my pride, and admit if I’m wrong. If I catch myself, I will tell my kids if I did something or said something wrong, and correct the mistake if I can.
A few things that I would like to implement into my classroom:
- Connecting the real world to the work we do/project-based learning - As a teacher fresh out of the nest, this one is more of a difficult one. I would love to be able to figure out how to connect everything that I’m teaching to real world issues. Right now, I’m just trying to keep my feet from coming out from under me. I think that as I progress in my teaching career, that I will become more comfortable, and be able to do this so much better.
- Get me out of my seat! - Trust me... I need this, too. I often wonder if my kids think I have ants in my pants, because I am constantly all over the place. I would love to incorporate time for getting up and moving around. They sit in classrooms for 6+ hours a day, more than likely barely moving. I want to be that teacher that lets students have a stretch break and lets them do activities where they’re moving around. If I need this, then they need it MORE.
- Student choice - Giving the students a choice to what they are doing will make them more willing to do it...at least this is what I believe. I have a project set up for my next unit - students will be able to choose what their mode of project will be (essay for the writers, music for the musicians, art for the artists, etc.). We will see how it goes...