Small steps

I was not going to post today because I seem to be saying the same thing each week but I decided to push myself and see what I might say today that would be different.

My classrooms (5th in the am and 4th in the pm) have been on a roller coast ride of behavior.  ( This is where I am stuck.)   One day their behaviors are so unbelievably bad and the next I will look around the room and they are all working quietly helping each other and I am amazed.

We can’t seem to find a flow that lets us stay in the happy place of learning.  I plan, I organize, I create structure, we have small meetings, and large meetings. We discuss behavior, we discuss behavior – did I say we discuss behavior.

It is the small steps that I need to hold on to to help me see change.   Those small steps I see each night as I sit down to journal.   I have been writing almost nightly a list of 10 things that are going well each day.  It makes me feel better and helps me see the small growth in my students and in each class.

What I am not doing is sharing those 10 items or creating a 10 item list with my classes.  I verbally let them know when I see small and large changes that are good but I think it is the daily listing that could make a difference and I am not doing that with students.

I am seeing the small changes but they are not!   Dud! Why didn’t I think about that.  If I need to write and chart wouldn’t my students find that helpful.   We need to create a classroom writing journal that helps us see our growth and change.

Writing once again has come to the rescue!   Thanks Slicers for being here to listen while I think!   Tomorrow we will start our shared writing journal on small changes!  I will keep you posted on how it goes.

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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4 Responses to Small steps

  1. Ramona says:

    Maybe you could use the chant that our counselor is teaching our students as part of a student success curriculum. Little by little, bit by bit, I’m improving, every day. I love hearing my students say it with the accompanying actions.

  2. I wasn’t going to slice either. I’m glad that I did also. There is so much value in writing the positives about your group, and then letting them know that you are noticing…sharing your list makes me feel valued as another teacher that has to keep on trying and re-working every day. xo

  3. pamelahodges says:

    I am continually reevaluating how I approach teaching. Thank you for sharing your time in the classroom. I learn from you and the other teachers.

  4. onesunflower says:

    Your slice echoes the same feelings I’ve been having about a second grade reading group I do after school – i need to reflect with them so we can name our achievements. Hopefully we can move forward in a positive way.

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