“Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity”
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca
The ice and snow are starting to melt, the flowers are starting to poke their heads through the dirt, and if your students (and honestly teachers, too) are anything like ours, they’re starting to focus on the golden sunshine of spring break on the horizon. As luck would have it, elementary, middle, and high school Teaching Channel Squadsters came together to explore patterns of inheritance with a clover theme — just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!
Halloween can be a scary time of year for educators
— candy, costumes, calamity — oh my!
In this season of changing leaves, could it be time to change our mindsets as well? Can we turn the season of “boo” into a season of “oooh” in our classrooms this fall?
Here are some ideas on how to use the crispness of autumn and some tasty candy sensations to sweeten some lessons for your students this Halloween.
The excitement of the holiday season is in the air and winter break is just around the corner. Amid all the hustle and bustle, a few days can seem like an eternity. Distractions come easily; that is, if you’ve managed to find focus in your classroom at all. Desks are messy, school bags are bulging, and everyone is counting the days — maybe the hours — until the final school bell rings to signal sweet, sweet freedom.
Imagine how the students must feel!
We know you’ve been working hard for the past few months to create the best possible learning experiences for your students. You’ve earned this brief time away and we’ve been wondering how you plan to spend it. In true Tch fashion, we asked our outstanding community of educators to find out.
It’s the last days of school before teachers and students are off to much deserved breaks. As my colleague Lily Jones posted last week, winter break is a great time to recharge professionally. However, don’t forget that winter break is also a time to recharge personally.
Educators spend so much time meeting the needs of others that we often forget about ourselves. This winter break, take the time to do personal development as well as professional, so that you’re refreshed and rejuvenated for the new year.
To help you out, we asked our Tch Laureates how they plan to relax over the break, and they shared fantastic ideas. Tom Jenkins is going to enjoy favorite sports by playing basketball, attending his son’s wrestling matches, and taking his son to a college football game. Josh Parker plans on embracing the holidays staycation style by creating a regional smorgasboard of his favorites: pizza, Cheerwine, and fried shrimp!
We also asked our laureates for suggestions and tips for what you, the Tch community, might do to recharge. Take a look at the list below for ideas on how you can relax over the break.
Halloween is here, which means that the winter holidays are just around the corner!
Many of us at Teaching Channel are former teachers, and we recently swapped fun anecdotes of our most memorable gifts from students and colleagues. We agreed that it can be difficult to find gifts that aren’t just “stuff.” There are gifts we want (Amazon gift cards!); gifts we need (new classroom supplies); and thoughtful gestures like homemade treats or handwritten notes. Gifts can either be professional, like a book on teaching strategies, or they can have a more personal touch, like a gift certificate to a local restaurant.
Want to hear something frightening? Halloween is approaching. A day filled with candy, costumes, and corny carnival games. A day I loved as a child and loved as a teacher.
Yes, I know there are many teachers out there who absolutely dread the day, including my colleague Lily, a confessed Halloween Grinch. Well, here’s a different perspective: I truly love it.
To me, it’s a day to embrace the goofiness inside all of us, where we let go of regular classroom routines, and offer a chance for some kids who normally don’t embrace school, to shine. Now, I know that not everyone celebrates Halloween, but in most cases, the students who do celebrate it will celebrate it at school no matter what you do. So, even if Halloween is not your cup of witch’s brew, rather than ignore the day completely, think of a way to make it work for your classroom and community.
Reflection Fest Day 5: Goals for 2014
Happy New Year! On the last day of Reflection Fest, let’s think about the coming year. What goal(s) do you have for your teaching or for your students this year?
I hope to further my coaching practice by videotaping more of my coaching sessions. I did this once so far this year and found it was an invaluable way to learn about my development. Even looking at my own body language as I talked to another teacher told me a lot!
Reading the lists of goals from our Tch community is inspiring:
- “My goal is that every student I came in contact with is excited to write. Writing is power, and kids need to see that.” — Katie Novak, K-12 Reading Coordinator, Chelmsford, MA
- “Refine best practice and move students to greater independence on all standards.” — Esther Wu, High School English Teacher, Mountain View, CA
- “I want to see more students address texts in scientific contexts with the skills needed for note taking and identifying information relative to the purpose of the text.” — Shelia Banks, School Support Specialist, Marrero, LA
Share your goals for 2014 in the comments section below… and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Lily Jones taught K/1 for seven years in Northern California. She has experience as a curriculum developer, instructional coach, teacher trainer, and is also a contributing writer for Teaching Channel.
Reflection Fest Day 4: Favorite New Thing You’ve Tried
One of my favorite things is sharing resources with teachers. Today, let’s share the favorite new things that we’ve tried this year.
I still feeling like I’m learning so much about coaching. One of the things I’ve been doing this year is bring new teachers to observe veteran teachers.
Reflection Fest Day 3: Biggest Challenge
Today, let’s reflect on our challenges so far this year. What has kept you up at night, made you worry, or tested your resolve? This may be a single moment or an ongoing struggle.
Reflection Fest Day 2: Funniest Classroom Moment
Today’s reflection is a fun one: Think about your funniest classroom moment this year.
Humor is an essential part of classroom life. I used to spend all my days around kindergartners and first graders, laughing my head off at their amazing way of approaching the world. Luckily, through my coaching work, I still go into kindergarten classes every so often — and my funniest moment this year happened when I was observing a kindergarten math lesson. As I sat in the back of the class, a teensy little boy walked up to me. Looking me straight in the eyes, he started stroking the sides of my face while whispering, “You are safe. You are safe.” It was so bizarre… and hilarious!