MY FIRST DAY BACK – 10/6/09

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (hshawjr@blogspot.com/haroldshawjr.com)

Fireworks #1

Image by Camera Slayer via Flickr

In case anyone hasn’t heard today was my first day back to teaching!!!!  Can’t guess that I am excited by being back in the classroom – can you.  Despite the other things going on in my personal life, this is the direction that I want my career to take and is a very positive course for me.  I know that not every day will be thrillingly charming as this one was, but it felt right.  This is where I need to be now.

Below is what my section of theclassroom looks like after doing a bit of re-arranging.  I don’t like the idea of it being so much a cube with a small entrance.  But at the same time with the students I will be teaching, they need to know that some areas of the room are not their’s and that they shouldn’t be in there. By making it obvious there are boundaries to where they belong and where they don’t need to be is a classroom management tool that I have used effectively in the past.  Besides it is not like I will be behind the desk very often.

That is not how I teach, I have to be moving around the room, talking and looking at what the students are actually doing, not what they think I am seeing.
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I am lucky that the EdTech that is assigned to my room is fantastic!  She has over 26 years of experience and we hit it off right away.  She knows the kids and the school, so I will learn a lot from her and will be her understudy until I get my legs back under me.
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I think that I still have my eye for seeing behaviors (saw quite a few that I recognized) and starting tomorrow will begin addressing them.

It is easier to start out being that “mean, rotten and nasty” teacher (not really) but that is what I tell everyone and then lighten up later.  Then it is to loose control by trying to be their friend and then trying to get the classroom back afterwards.  I have seen the results of the other way and want nothing to do with it.

I believe that a teacher needs to establish fairly rigid teacher-student boundaries at the start (using common sense and differentiating on the needs of the class) and then loosen up when trust is established both ways.  I don’t want my new students to know that I am actually a push-over.

The biggest question I have been asked by students, other teachers and former co-workers was “Why do you want to go back to teaching?”  I answered with a very short answer “Simple, because I am a teacher.”

The non-teacher’s didn’t understand – do you?

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EDCHAT – FOR FIRST TIME

REPOSTED FROM MY THOUGHTS (haroldshawjr.com)

What technology brings...

Image by Rain Rabbit via Flickr

I just participated in #EDCHAT onTwitter.  It was confusing, frustrating, exhilarating, exhausting, inspiring, awesome and did I mention that I missed 3/4 of the exchanges.  But you know something I loved it!!!

A bunch of educators who want to improve the classrooms we all work in.  I loved that there were so many passionate teachers trying integrate technology.  I also found out about TweetGrid which was the only way I could have followed EdChat otherwise, have on my speed dial now.

This is one of the reasons that I wanted to come back to teaching and the educationfield, I missed the thought provoking conversations that I used to have online and in some areas of the school.

The biggest thing that I will take away from tonight was/is:
That “leadership is the single most important factor affecting the successful integration of technology” into the classroom.

I consider Leadership to be the most important factor affecting education in this Country.  Will they take us the safe and easy way with minimal improvements or will our leaders step out and go beyond safe and lead us to new heights.  I am not optimistic at this time, so it has to come from the local levels and build up from there.
I feel passionate about what I do once again, it is good to be a teacher again!

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.