teacher-advice

Question for teachers: binder requirements?

I know many teachers require students to keep a binder and keep it organized in a specific way to best benefit their class. The teachers check the binders periodically to enforce organization and all that. This is something I’ve grappled with as a new teacher, and I’d love some opinions and ideas.

Do you require your students to maintain a binder for your class? Do you tell them how to organize it? Do you do binder checks?

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I want students to learn on their own. I want them to figure out how to be organized and see its benefits. On the other hand, I have realized this year that even though they’ve had teachers in elementary and middle school who have shown them how to organize a binder, many high school freshmen still don’t know how. They either don’t care or just don’t get it. I was so frustrated this year when students who were there every day would lose their warm up papers or other classwork, and then not get credit for them. And not care. At all. 

The idea of doing binder checks and all that just seems so micro-managing. It seems tedious. It seems like a pain in my neck. So I would love some feedback about this. Is it worth the time and energy? Has it worked in your class? Do I just need to suck it up because it’s beneficial?

Advice to Aspiring Teachers

I’m not remotely a “veteran teacher” yet, but as I start off on year 7 of teaching, I have a few kernels of wisdom to pass along for those of you who find yourself becoming teachers. Or to those of you who need a refresher. 

1- Most Importantly:  Enjoy it!

Enjoy what you are teaching, because then your students will enjoy it more, too. You probably already know that, but it bears repeating. 

2- Second advice nugget (or maybe it’s part B of that last one): Even (and maybe especially) the kid that drives you INSANE needs some positive encouragement.

So, Enjoy your students. Try your best to find something to like/appreciate about each kid, because not only will help you be more patient with them,  it is vitally important for them. Maybe the most important thing they’ll get out of your class. 

3- Remember Real and Good Teaching is hard work.

So work hard, but remember to use your resources (books/curriculum, coworkers, the internet, teacherspayteachers, etc) and not to stress yourself out too much over a failed activity or a bad day. 

4- Don’t let it go to your head: RESPECT your studentsYou are in a position of authority, but don’t be an asshole.

The worst teachers are the kind who abuse their authority to demean or belittle their students. Don’t be that teacher. And if you have a bad day, which you are entitled to do because you are (contrary to popular belief) human, be up front about it. Tell your students “Hey, sorry guys, I’m having a rough day and I’m a little short on patience right now” - they deserve fair warning. Also, if you (also because you are human) are a jerk and speak unkindly to a student or a class, apologize. You are not above apologies just because you are a teacher. Pull a kid aside and apologize to them 1:1 if you were rude to just them. Or, you know: Humble yourself and apologize to a whole class if you have to. Don’t let your role as a teacher absorb the nastiness that comes out of all human beings sometimes and poison your teaching career. 

5- Fact: Your attitude sets the mood in your classroom.

Don’t underestimate this power. Wield it carefully and intentionally.

6- I totally understand that it isn’t possible 100% of the time, but: Explain your reasoning for what you are doing in class!

Sometimes teachers give a directive that seems pretty pointless, but actually has a lot of purpose. Explaining the purpose of an activity can change the way a student views it/participates in it. I mean, you might know why you’re doing something, as a teacher, but the students might be sitting there like “wtf, this is dumb” unless you explain the actual reasons, at least from time to time! Now, whether it will actually help change students attitudes regarding classwork is also up to the student, but I think (sadly) teachers are prone to generally underestimate students’ intelligence - Give them the benefit of the doubt and help them see the why behind the what of the things that go down in your classroom. 

7- Tip: Behave as if you are the only adult role model kids might have, because you might be. 

Hopefully, God willing, your students are from loving families that take good care of them and love them and help them grow up into responsible and healthy adults … but that is not even usually the case. Everybody needs stable role models - people to emulate. You might not feel confident about being that person, but you are in a position of visibility that makes it inevitable that people will look at the way you act/live your life. Please live accordingly. 

8- Seriously: Don’t be afraid to have a good time in your classroom.

LAUGH at things. If somebody says something funny (and I do NOT mean unintentionally) then give yourself the freedom to bust out laughing at it! I know this feels like I’m repeating #1 here, but it’s a little different. 

9- VerbalizeSay the Good stuff.

If someone does a great job on something: tell them. If you like a student’s idea, tell them. If you think a doodle on a quiz is awesome: TELL THEM. Notice the good stuff, and do it out loud. I still remember some of the little things that teachers said to me that made all the difference, even in something so little as noticing/complimenting my perfume. 

10- and I promise this is the last one, I wasn’t even going to write this many, but I have to in case anybody reads it: CARE

Just because a kid looks like they are doing okay on the outside doesn’t mean they are okay. Never type-cast your students as “lazy”, “slow”, “troublemakers” or “problem-children”. They are far, far, far more complex than some oversimplified label you might give them. You don’t know their whole story, and quite frankly: they don’t know you well enough to give it to you just because you’re their teacher. So, even if it’s hard, even if you’re sick of an attitude or behavior (which I do understand is rough - students sometimes act like you’re not human, and that’s tough to take in and not eventually dish back) please strive to AUTHENTICALLY care. 

Offer to help a confused student - or, you know, if you can tell one student is having a hard time but know they might be embarrassed to ask for help, find a creative way to help them out. Take a minute to express your sadness if a student shares that their pet died. Keep granola bars in your desk, in case somebody doesn’t have a lunch or missed breakfast. Ask if somebody is okay if they seem a little off - even if it’s just by writing them a note on a post-it and subtly sticking it on their desk. Just: be kind

In this world you can do absolutely anything you choose, but you cannot do everything. Choose wisely and when you do be prepared to accept the consequences and potential rewards that may come with your choice.
—  Douglas Winkel, my English teacher Senior Year
Writing Tip July 3rd

This is a list given to me by one of my high school teachers. It’s been very helpful for me, even 5+ years later, so I figured I’d share it with everyone.

  1. Check for status errors- their, there; its, it’s.
  2. Check the numbers rules:
    1. use words for nine and under
    2. use numerals over nine
    3. use numerals whenever numbers as significant (i.e. statistics)
    4. be consistent whatever you do
    5. never start a sentence with a numeral
    6. hyphenated numbers are written out
  3. Avoid constructions former and latter. It’s confusing.
  4. Avoid sexist language.
    1. He must now check the timecards of his employees.
    2. He or she must check the timecards of his or her employees.
    3. Supervisors must check the timecards of their employees.
  5. Avoid “hopefully” as adverb unless it modifies verb. “Hopefully, I won’t fail the research paper.” This is incorrect.
  6. Avoid “nice,” “seems,” (unless followed by a “but”), “nature,” (unless it’s the birds), “thing” (always a more precise word), and “a lot.”
  7. Avoid lousy adverbs: “very,” “definitely,” “absolutely,” “really,” “beautifully.”
  8. Avoid abbreviations (exceptions: Ms., Mrs., Mr.)
  9. Start a paragraph short, end it that way. A short, quick, jab is more deadly than a haymaker.
  10. After a long complicated sentence follow with a short one.
  11. Never have more than three sentences of the same length in a row.
  12. Check the verbs of each paragraph; never use the same one more than twice.
  13. Check pronouns- he, she, it, they, who , whom, which, that- make sure the noun they refer to is obvious. Never use the same one more than two sentences in a row.
  14. Check semicolons and colons. Semicolons replace “and,” “but,” or a period. Colons qualify under four conditions: a list, a quotation longer than one sentence, replaces “for example,” and the rare here-it-comes colon.
  15. Treat contractions like kisses; use sparingly.
  16. Avoid ending paragraphs with someone else’s words. Leave them laughing, crying, or swearing at your own words.
  17. Keep person consistent. Check subject of first paragraph. Do you maintain that person, number, and gender throughout?
  18. Write in simple sentences- present and past. When “have hads,” and “to be ables,” slip into the paper crispness melts.
  19. Whenever you can change clause to a phrase.
  20. Eliminate as many prepositional phrases as possible. Most padding occurs here.
  21. Avoid “is when” constructions.
  22. “Like” is a verb or preposition not a conjunction. Shakespeare’s play is AS YOU LIKE IT not LIKE YOU LIKE IT.
  23. None is singular. So is everyone, someone, and no one.
  24. Possessive apostrophe
    1. If a word is singular add ‘s
    2. If plural and doesn’t end in -s use ‘s
    3. If plural ends in -s use a simple apostrophe
  25. Shall and will. I or we shall; you will; he, she, it will. Unless a command- Thou shalt (shall) not have strange gods before me.
  26. You have 30 seconds to get an A; your beginning is important. Your ending keeps your A.
  27. Show at all times and saying it won’t be necessary. This had one corollary: remember your audience. More importantly, enough crap has been written; don’t add to the total.

-The teacher who taught me to love writing

Below the cut: Other words of wisdom he gave us in the letter he gave us the last class before graduation (worth the read if you have a minute)

Keep reading

Today I was subbing a 6th grade art class. One of my students had a behavioral plan “point card” which was weird because he was an angel during my class. At the end of class I walked by and realized that he hadn’t done any of his quiz. I was frustrated because I had asked several times if anyone needed help, why hadn’t he spoke up?! So I swallowed my frustration and sat down and asked him what’s up? He just shrugged his shoulders and said it was too hard.

Since the student was Latino, I went out on a limb and translated (very roughly) the first question into Spanish. He looked at me, first surprised, then he smiled and gave me the correct answer. After that we went through the rest of the worksheet with me asking the questions in my very rudimentary Spanish and him giving the right answer every time and even helping me with some vocabulary.

Now I wonder, considering he had been totally pleasant the entire class, how much of his behavior plan is simply based on teachers writing him off as being stubborn, instead of taking the time to realize he wasn’t understanding the questions? How could a teacher even be expected to help with classes sizes exceeding 40? How many other kids could I help if I took the time to really figure out their behavior instead of just being frustrated with them?

I got bit...

Hey veteran tumblr teachers,

SO I could use some advice.  I got bit (several times) by one of my ED students last week- he’s ten and was very physically and verbally aggressive to me.  Of course I understand that there are underlying issues and such going on for him and of course I still love him dearly but the whole thing was a little traumatic.  He’s been suspended for a week by the head of school, though I’m not sure he knows why.  Has anyone been in a similar situation? What can I do to a) feel comfortable around him when he comes back? and b) support him and help him feel safe and comfortable in the classroom?

studieswithbeth  asked:

for all the kids starting school and have a "mean" teacher: the teacher probably had a rough day and snapped or something along those lines, my algebra teacher yelled at me at the beginning of the school year last year, but grew to love me and I loved her at the end of the school year. she even kept my end of year project bc she said I was an inspiring student !! just wanted to encourage some fellow students, don't judge a teacher by first impression !!! best of wishes to fellow students !!

^^^ good luck everyone!

In the classroom

·         If students aren’t responding, do something different.

·         Resist generalizations, there is no “they” – there is 25 different and unique students.

·         Inspire curiosity.

·         Smile because of what you do, not how your day is going.

·         Realize that students are growing up in a world very different to the one you grew up in.

·         Help students to see their own potential.

·         It is not about you.

·         You are not there to teach, you are there to help students learn, but you are accountable when they’re not leaning.

·         What students might be going through at home is far more important that today’s lesson.

·         Don’t raise your voice, and be very very careful with sarcasm.

·         Use analogies.

·         Ask questions.

·         Move around the room.

·         Create your own learning space.

·         Prioritize.

·         Students will not forget how you make them feel.

anonymous asked:

You're not the type of person who seems like they went to Catholic school enrjdiwofoxs

Yeah I hated it. Got into so much trouble. I remember when I was around 14 I said something about how abortion should be made legal in my country since making it illegal doesn’t stop women from doing it anyway and at least it would be safer since the medicine they’re using is extremely harmful and the teacher got realllly mad at me like I got sent to the principal’s office for that lmao. I got good grades so they let me get away with a few things but at the end of every semester the parents go to your school to get your report card and talk to your teacher about your school performance and one teacher told my dad that I have the devil’s attitude. Literally those words.

Some bits of advice I overheard today:

“You’re doing the best you can. Remember that.”

“Even if you’ve had the worst day you can remember, it’s important that you can find one good thing that happened that day.”

“Don’t ever surround youself with people who spend most of their time complaining. Go for a walk instead. I can guarantee you the results will be so much better.”