Sunday, May 27, 2012

Daily Assignment #112: Shut-up vs. Be quiet

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Daily Assignment #111: Sarcasm

I did it again.  I'm late in posting this email.  My excuse---I forgot to do it.  My apologizes to those who were looking for my blog earlier.  

Sarcasm is a "sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter jibe or taunt, usually conveyed through irony or understatement".  It is usually demeaning and cruel and has no place in a classroom.  Teachers using sarcasm usually consider it a humorous and witty way to engage or reprimand a student or class.  However, sarcasm creates a negative interaction and environment.  Students may react with an inappropriate response, which usually leads to negative consequences by the teacher.  There will always be one or more students who are worried that they might become the teachers next target for sarcasm.  Again, don't use sarcasm in class, it hurts even if you don't think so. 

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Best Effort,

Monday, May 14, 2012

Daily Assignment #110: Treats

Oops!  I got so caught up in our Mother's Day celebration I totally forgot to do my blog, sorry about that.  I hope you all had a wonderful day as well.

On another note, I would like to share my thoughts on candy as a reward.  I am guilty of being a candy rewarder.  I would give 2 Swedish Fish or 1 Life Saver or 1 Hershey Kiss for various reasons, i.e. successful moments, when it would feel like the class was spiraling downward and just because.  Simple treats are a quick reward, inexpensive, makes kids happy and can completely change the atmosphere in the classroom.   As we become more health conscious, candy may not have a place in your classroom.  Many teachers think it isn't a good idea to reward with candy and are concerned about parental disapproval.  It might be a good idea to ask parents in a questionnaire at the beginning of the year whether they have an issue with an occasional piece of candy.  Of course, if there is a medical issue, you should be aware of that early on.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Daily Assignment #109: Cautions

I've been thinking about the things I wished someone had told me to be cautious about when I first started teaching.  I've created this list:

  • Never release a student to a stranger.  Make sure whomever is picking up a student has permission to do so.
  • Touch or not touch.  Be very careful. This is such a sensitive topic, particularly if you are a male teacher.  There are students who may misinterpret a touch.  There are also students who are tactile sensitive.  I've always been a big hugger.  However, there are students I am cautious about approaching.  There are also students who might approach you and it is not comfortable.  You need to make this call, be careful.
  • On a similar note, if you find yourself alone with a student in the classroom, leave the door open.  Consider stepping out in the hallway with the student.
  • Continuing on this theme, DO NOT drive a student in your car.  There are so many reasons not to do this and you probably know them.  You may have the best intentions but if you were ever to get into an accident or a student accused you of something terrible your life would become not good.  Just don't do it.
  • If you have a desk make sure it is facing the door so that you can see who is coming and going from your classroom.
  • No matter how frustrating/disruptive a student maybe, never send him/her out of the room unescorted.  
  • Never leave your class unattended.  Check to see what the policy at your school is for stepping out of the class for just a moment, e.g. bathroom.  Some districts require a licensed teacher, in other districts it can be any staff member.
  • Do not dispense medication, including vitamins, cough drops, ointments, ice.  Check the schools policy on sending students to the nurse and procedures for medication.  The school nurse should notify you of students with allergies or on medications.  If a student may need an Epi-pen make sure the nurse instructs you on how to use it.  For every field trip, or activity out of range of the nurse, make sure you have an emergency kit, especially the Epi-pen.  
  • Report accidents.  Don't take any chances that it is nothing.  Better to err on the side of caution than not.  Notify parents.  Parents do not like to hear about their child getting hurt 2 days later.  And document everything.
  • If there is something off for a student and you are not sure what to do about it speak with the school guidance counselor.  Document everything.  I continue to keep my documentation of some students just in case.
  • Know the school's Emergency Plan.  The school I was in did not have one until after a situation.  As a result, there was chaos.  Staff and students did not know where to go.  Parents didn't know where to find their child.  It was a chaotic mess.  
  • Preview videos that you are going to show to your class.  I started a video once only to discover it had been taped over with an orgy scene from a Dracula movie.  Talk about panicking.
Other than that, please feel free to move about the cabin. LOL

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