How are you? I hope you are all well. This week, I would like to tell you about a lesson that I learned the hard way. The more organized you are the better your class will go.
There was one year when I was teaching that I wasn’t as organized or prepared as I should have been at the beginning of the school year. I don’t remember the circumstances, but the beginning of the school year crept up on me and I wasn’t prepared. Can anyone relate?
I mean, I had the bare minimum done, but I wasn’t as organized as usual. It started to show in the behavior of my students. Have you ever been a substitute teacher and had the students kind of know that you don’t know the regular routine and aren’t really on top of things, so they took advantage of you and acted up more than they would for their regular teacher? If you haven’t experienced it before, you probably have heard about such an experience. Or, maybe you can remember back when you were a student and your class did that to a substitute teacher. Anyway, that is sort of how it felt for me, even as a regular teacher that year.
At first, I wondered if I had just gotten a “tough” class that year. However, that wasn’t it. It was my lack of organization. I hadn’t taken time to set boundaries and expectations or to practice them. I hadn’t taken time to create expectations or routines for what to do if one finishes work ahead of others. There were no file folder games or anything other than books to do quietly when work was finished. And, I always seemed to be finishing my lesson plans and activities for the day or week at the very last minute. Does any of this sound familiar?
One day, soon after this hectic and chaotic year began, I realized how unprepared I was and almost “started over” with the class. We sat down and had a chat. I explained that we needed to do things differently. I discussed rules and expectations. We practiced those rules and expectations. I also created file folder games and other things that students could do if their work was finished early. We practiced those and learned how to do them independently and in small groups. I rearranged how I did things and added an incentive system. We also learned to encourage each other more.
With these new things in place, it ended up being one of my most favorite teaching years. I hope if you are having a tough year (besides the craziness of the pandemic), you can learn from my experience.
Now, it is your turn.
I am thankful you are here. I would like to hear about your difficult years and how you got through them. Please, leave me a comment or contact me. Let others learn from your experience as well. If you find value in the Education Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with friends and family. Also, if you haven’t already, please consider signing up to receive the Education Blog and other education content in your inbox. Thank you.
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