DAYS AWAY FROM LAUNCHING: CLASS MATTERS
Since I am always concerned with What Teachers Want besides What Teachers Need, whenever the chance arises, I ask classroom colleagues these two questions. Although a fine line exists between Want –desires for a satisfying career- and Need- what is necessary for a successful career, all too often during a school term, we teachers know the lines cross instead of remaining parallel. Statisticians rely on quantitative answers. Me? I prefer qualitative knowledge - what I learn from my colleagues. The following list reveals some of the answers to years of asking, “What do teachers Want?”. I have compiled CLASS MATTERS: Planning, Teaching, and Managing Secondary Classes to meet the wants and needs of my classroom colleagues leading students in grades 6-12.
1. Students should come to school ready and excited to learn.
2. I would be a happy camper if students completed their homework on time. I assign it so they can increase their knowledge, and so I can see how I can help them understand what we are studying.
3. Oh, to never again hear, “Oh, that’s right. We’re having a test today. Well, I forgot to study.”
4. When I ask for their thoughts and analysis, I don’t want students to answer what they think I want to hear. I want them to think and to share their thoughts.
5. What is most aggravating is that it’s usually the kids who don’t turn their work in on time who complain when I don’t hand their papers back the very next class. How is this respectful?
6. Can they please, please get to class on time? It’s not fair to the others when I have to repeat what I have already covered.
7. Although my colleagues and I work together to follow the criteria set by the Program of Studies and how to weight our grades, we have different class rules., and that should be respected by students, colleagues, administrators and parents.
8. Students need to understand that school rules are in place for their safety and well-being and to create a positive and courteous learning environment. Running in the halls, texting, listening to music on their IPods, or whatever, foul language and dressing inappropriately for school are detrimental to this goal.
9. All I ask is that students just try in each aspect of school life, be it academic, social, behavioral, or extra-curricular areas.
Not only does this collection include handouts and printables to meet both your wants and needs in these three areas, but it offers posts that suggest how, when and why the various focuses will be most useful to you. Although some of the information here is self-explanatory to rookie and veteran teachers, other ideas become clearer with a short discussion. And sometimes …sometimes we just need enlightenment on how to use a new item because we just. don’t. have. a. free. brain. cell. to. think. about. it.
This 100 page teacher resource is divided into sections: Planning, Teaching, and Managing. Within each segment I have interspersed blogs to show teachers how to efficiently create lesson plans, classroom rules, and behavior standards. Numerous teaching ideas , handouts and classroom management forms will meet many of your wants and needs. In the final pages, I invite you to take a break from all of your planning and organizing, and to kick back and relax with two posts: A Labor Day Lesson: A Contemporary Tale, and In Defense of Teenagers.
Stay Tuned, and remember-
CLASS Matters, and CLASS MATTERS always matter.