Monday, August 03, 2009

Just some randoms

This is my brother and I at my wedding. Really, I don't have a lot of pictures of my brother and I've rarely written about him, but here he is. He's a great older brother who really looked out for me as a kid. He also gave me the car I have now! I'm so thankful for him, especially because he lives in Fayetteville now, so he's super close to me!

In related news (to the wolfies in the picture) Joel and I bought some State football tickets. Basically, he's pretty excited about football season, and I'm looking forward to a new t-shirt and hot dogs at the games.

School starts up in a couple of weeks. I've got a bigger class than last year, but I'm thankful for some new organizational tools, a year of experience under my belt, and awesome new software that makes engaging lesson planning a bit easier.

I'm trying to have a good attitude about this year. I am more confident, but I'm still nervous about not being the kind of teacher I want to be. Goals for this year include:
-sucking it up and actually having good parent-teacher communication
-staying on top of all the papers that come in
-being more organized in matching my lessons to the curriculum
-being more consistent in discipline
-rewarding students more
-having morning meetings

The last goal is something I saw in classrooms as I was student teaching, but never really worked in my room this year. Being in a magnet school means a lot less instructional time in the classroom, and that makes a 15 minute meeting somewhat of a burden when you have SO many other things to fit in. However, looking back at all my issues this year, I think a lot had to do with a lack of social skills with some students I had. A regular morning meeting to have "devotions" of some sort, going over our routine, and checking in with each student would have been really helpful. I started teaching about bullying behavior and what to do about it late in the year, after my other (not so healthy) routines were established. Last year, that bullying became such a huge problem that it totally interfered with teaching and learning. There were days when we didn't really accomplish much of anything...we were surviving. That was a huge problem...this year I've made a really cool, interactive presentation on bullying to introduce the topic, and I plan on reinforcing these points during morning meetings.

Any other tips for this year? How will you do things differently?

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