5 comments
  1. September is always the hardest month for me, and it's not about knowing their names--I try to do this before they even set foot in my classroom.

    It's about knowing them as people beyond the classroom--and that takes months.

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    1. I agree . . . though I admit it happens faster in self-contained than in departmentalized classrooms. When I had 150 students, I had time when there were certain students who were little more than strangers.

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  2. You put "Controlling begins with the notion that the process matters less than the person." I wonder if maybe you meant that the process matters more than the people, but I may be interpreting it badly.

    I love the message here. Understanding, acceptance, and trust are all so important and at the same time so nuanced. It's not about sitting back and watching it all happen, but being a part of it.

    One of the things that I believe teachers are afraid to do is just say yes to things. I assign a presentation, I require them to do something visual, with suggestions like a Prezi, a video, etc. Then, a student comes along and throws out a suggestion that I may not completely understand. Do I say no just because it's not in my wheel house?

    As long as we are achieving our goals and building mastery, the means don't matter as much.

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    1. Thanks for the correction. Man, I need to start proof-reading posts.

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  3. I like how well you acknowledge the amount of time it takes to build relationships and create the atmosphere in your classroom that allows for students to be engaged and ultimately thrive.

    I hear so much about students taking ownership and learning what they want (if I hear the phrase "guide on the side" one more time I'm going to scream), almost to the point where I want to ask certain people if the teacher has any role in learning aside from being a warm adult body in the room.

    Your message here is more ... precise, I guess is the right word. You cannot walk into a class in August and September and think that things are going to be innovative right off the bat (you saw that coming). And even if they are, there are 180 days in the school year and that's plenty of potential for things to go south.

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