As the school year is about to start again, it is important that we begin with the end in mind. We all know the quote, “Be the change you want to see in this word” Gandhi, but this year, let’s embody it. Complete these challenges, and start the change you want to see in your classroom. Start the year off with the enthusiasm and determination to make every step count.
5 Challenges for the 2018-2019 school year:
Challenge 1: Build a social contract
Instead of assigning rules in your classroom, use your time and as a class determine what class expectations should be. Students will be able to share with you what it looks like to be a “productive student” in the classroom and can share examples and non -examples alike. Post it in the classroom for students to see. Students will have much more buy-in because they helped set the expectations for the classroom.
Challenge 2: Open your walls
Go beyond your four walls, invite the world into the classroom by either connecting with another class in the world, skyping or even going on a virtual field trip. Students will be able to connect their learning to the world and make lifelong connections.
Challenge 3: Start a Twitter Account.
One of the best places to get ideas and form a great PLC connection is Twitter. With an easy way to search specific # or ideas, it gives a summarized information that is specific to your search. I highly recommend starting a group that includes some of the best teachers in the country and follow their tweets. The best thing about this is the fact that many teachers share resources, ideas and celebrations of their success with anyone on Twitter.
Challenge 4: Use a digital platform to communicate with parents.
Whether it is Remind, Seesaw or any other app, having a digital presence is necessary in 2018-2019 and beyond. Using the apps consistently is just as important as having an online presence.
Try at least one of the following consistently:
Challenge 5: Don’t give your kids homework.
This comes from a great teacher Jodie Deinhammer, a 7th grade Science teacher from Coppell Middle School. “I know a lot of people would have a hard time with this, but think it through. When you get home from work, the last thing you want to do is more work. Our kids need a break just like we do. They need to play outside, they need to hang out with their families or just chill out. Instead of homework, can you give your kids a warm-up problem or question each day to determine where they are? Can you incorporate 10 minutes of “practice time” in class each day so you are there to help if they don’t understand? Can you better utilize or rearrange your class time to avoid outside of class work?”