I was a new teacher eleven years ago. But as the new school year begins, it is more apparent to me than ever, that I am a new teacher every year. As educators, we are understandably focused on all there is to teach, and yet we must also be mindful of all there is to learn. The summer has given me bit of time to reflect on my own learning during my time in education and to identify the top eleven lessons I learned in as many years and to pay homage to the wise colleagues who have been my teachers. With their inspiration, I head into the next school year and those to come with a mindset not simply of, “What am I here to teach?” but “What am I here to learn?” On behalf of our students, I encourage you to do the same.
Lesson 1 – Meet the students where they are and take them where they need to go, even if that means to another country. Travel with your students, intellectually and literally. (Mr. Casolaro) Continue reading Eleven in Eleven
Continued from Reflections on a Sleepless Year and Being the Educator Our Students Need post.
Consistency is the first of the two essential components of student engagement. Seems simple enough, and for some teachers, it is. The classroom is a haven where all of their outside problems wait at the door. Their moods are unaffected by parking tickets or root canal work. For others however, it is very difficult, sometimes impossible, not to bring their personal struggles into the classroom, and these difficulties manifest as unpredictable moods. Happy on Monday, inflexible on Tuesday, bitingly sarcastic on Wednesday. . . I get it. It is hard. I wrestle with this, and I assume many educators and administrators do too. Sometimes I wonder if consistently crazy is good enough. The inability to not bring personal challenges into the classroom however, creates a disconcerting inconsistency for students. Continue reading Is Consistently Crazy Good Enough?
Have you ever wondered, “What are my students thinking today?” Recently, I have found myself considering this, and it leads me to more questions. Are they enjoying class? Do they feel like it’s meaningful? Are they even present in the moments in which I think learning is occurring? Is this class beneficial for them, both now and in the future? What distractions exist in my classroom that affect my students? How can I help them be present? Continue reading Today’s Lesson Plan: Do Nothing
The confidence of a young man is a powerful, yet very fragile trait, especially during his teenage years. Schools must dedicate time in their curricula to character development and, in particular, confidence-building for boys. Our freshmen take two such courses, Public Speaking and Lifetime Fitness Skills. These classes introduce and strengthen two critical life skills, self-presentation and healthy living; both build the confidence of our young men.
Continue reading “Fake It ‘til You Make It”