TTEE2 Hot Topic Email Discussion

Article Discussion: The Don'ts and Don'ts of Teaching

Questions:

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Why?

Responses:

I really enjoyed all of the points addressed in this article. The part that I took the greatest interest to was the "Don't be a Buddy" section. I have learned in the little time I have been working with students that you can lose a lot of respect from falling into the buddy category. Students need to know that you are their teacher, not their equal. The minute they believe that you are a peer, is the minute they will start walking all over you. In my classroom I really try to make it evident that I respect my students, but I am not their friend. My attitude in the classroom towards students' stories and comments not related towards school is very calm. I feel that the minute I show over the top emotion is the time when my class will start acting out. I believe that this attitude is not right for every classroom but with mine a professional and calm demeanor is necessary.

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I felt like every one of the points made in the article were useful and important. However, I felt like the author left a lot of information to the imagination. Most, if not all of the points were left without real concrete examples of how things should be done - the author even addresses the lack of answers in point number 3. If the author would include more concrete examples I think the article would be that much more helpful. For me it's too much theory, not enough practice. But I am a visual, hands-on person…so who knows! I do agree that not making these mistakes is important to any rookie teacher, I just wish we could have a little more background/experiences/stories/real-life included! Maybe some of our mentors could help provide some real world examples?

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Hello! I liked the beginning of this article very much. I believe that teachers need to use less of the word "no" and more "yes" or redirecting. I do find myself telling students " Do not do this" or "No", but I do try to direct the students were I want them to go, be, or do. For instance I typically tell my students instead of "NO TALKING", I would say we have a voice volume of 0. Then we discuss what that volume is and then they tryyyyy to do so. If they are talking I do not simply say stop talking. I ask them to check their actions. We discuss what choices they are making. Then we discuss how we can change them. I direct the students to the avenue I want them to take. Positive suggestions instead of negative. I also agree with the part about not sending students to the office. I try several different ways of intervention before I ever send a student to the office.

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I have broken every single one of these things at one point in time or another, except the buddy thing. Most of these "don'ts" you learn the hard way.


It's more than ok to "check in" with students who have placed a trust in you, especially with personal information, but so long as you are honest about your role as a teacher and show you care without crossing lines. You can maintain professionalism with a student and still be supportive. You may be that student's go-to person for help when they need it most. (Obviously the law takes precedence....)

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When I first learned that I was going to teach Kindergarten, my dad asked me to come see him. Expecting a pat on the back or a nice "Congratulations!", he sat me down at the kitchen table and said, "I'm going to give you one piece of advice as a new teacher that no one ever told me. You can always ease up on discipline, but you can never take it back." PBIS has made "cool tools" that allow teachers to teach expectations in a positive way.

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I’ve really focused on the first two items (don’t try to teach too much in a day, and don’t teach a lesson without a student activity) these past couple years. I find that rushing to get through a lot of information will water-down the lesson, while taking time (two periods if necessary) is more beneficial to the students. I’ve also tried to incorporate more student activity in my lessons. Getting student involvement is critical to keeping their attention and interest in your class. But, of course it also means more well-planned classroom management. I have found through multiple intelligence and learning style inventories that most of my students are bodily-kinesthetic and interpersonal. So, activity is really important to have when trying to meet your students where they are.

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I really related to the idea of classroom rules needing to be stated in the clearest way possible. When we go over the rules in the beginning of the year, I also explain to students that (like most laws) rule are there to protect students in some way. Such as no running in the halls to avoid injury, etc. The students are able to relate to this idea after we discuss laws and how they protect citizens...real world connections.

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All throughout college and education classes, the "positive expectations" was pushed stronger than the posting "rules" of the class. I agreed with that until I read this article. I can absolutely see both sides of the argument. I think all teachers, new and experienced, could relate to that article! I definitely still learn everyday what not to do and what to improve. I think a huge issue in classrooms is allowing students to shout answers without raising hands. It shows the students that they can talk whenever they choose and it's ok to cut others off.

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I learned a lot from this article but I probably got the most out of #10, which pertains to talking too much. I love teaching and I'm usually very enthusiastic about it, but I have noticed that I tend to use more words than necessary. The students generally listen for the first few minutes but then I begin to lose them. In a class of 50 students, this can get out of hand very quickly. I'm going to try to use fewer words to make a point from now on.


Julie

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These are great reminders for every teacher. As educators we also need to be open to learning/adjusting our ways to the unique needs of each student, while caring, being honest and professional.


Go Comets

AH

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There are, of course, two sides to most of these rules/mistakes.

I have my class rules stated "positively" as it says not to, but did I think that kids automatically rebelled against them if they were negative, no.


Student activity is very important to incorporate into one's classroom, but I think if you try to do an activity every single day, you will end up "boring" them even with activities because they are expected.


Gina

8th Grade Science

Greenville Junior High

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One of my main points of focus for this year was to avoid long lectures. I really force myself to keep lecture time under 15 minutes each day. In order to do this I've supplemented my lesson with various activities that will reinforce the topics that I don't spend as much time lecturing over. Even though it's still early in the year, i think the students have responding in a very positive way to this. The biggest impact that I have seen is the attitude and motivation of students. I know it's tough for students to have a positive attitude towards math, but if they have a positive attitude towards my class as a whole, that's a step in the right direction.


Jimmy

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I related to a few of the ideas; clearly stating classroom rules and not babbling. I've found through teaching all different age groups that these two ideas never change. At the beginning of the year, I clearly state my rules to all my classes. I try to keep my rules short and clear so there is no confusion. The more I babble on about rules, the more I lose my students. Last year, I felt like I babbled too much when giving my classes the directions for the days activity. This year I've tried to make a point not to babble as much. Just like my rules, my directions need to short and to the point. The more babbling I do, the more questions I have when I'm done explaining. This article was a good reminder for me, thanks for sharing!


Allison

Physical Education Teacher

Greenville Elementary School

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I think these are all great ideas, but Gina does make a good point. I have been thinking about this the last couple of days. Not every lesson lends itself to an activity, but every lesson can have some kind of "hook" to it that makes kids remember the concept. It takes a lot of time to accomplish that goal, so it's something to build on.


Amy

5th Grade Teacher

Greenville Elementary School

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This guy doesn't beat around the bush! I was intrigued with the honesty of his list. I think it's a good perspective to read and then alter it to your personality. The one that made me smile the most was, "Don't babble." This might be hard for some of you to believe, but I have a tendency to babble. Even in my 28th year I think I talk to much.

One last thing that came to mind. It was about having a lot of rules. . . In my Don Garrett class this summer he said no more than 3 or 4 rules. But, then he gave a loophole by noting classrooms should have lots of "procedures" and those don't count as rules.


Jane

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I've found that trying to teach too much in a day and teaching a lesson without a student activity (or without some type of break/change) are really important guidelines I must consider. I feel personally attacked that babbling is a bad thing. Just kidding, because I know that is something I still must work on. I like the idea of spending time and teaching the rules, not just reciting them for students.


Scott

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My weakness is allowing students to blurt out answers. I like to have a classroom that is engaged and I am actually uncomfortable when the setting is too quiet. However, after reading the article I am now more aware of how quiet students might tune out if they feel like they are unable to answer a question.

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Throughout the years, I have found the best results for classroom rules have been for the students and I to spend time writing them together. When students have ownership in the rules they are more eager to follow them. (Most of the time. : ) Remember.....if you want a behavior....teach the behavior!

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Wow. I wish I would have read this before the school year started. Although looking back I probably would have thought they were all wrong because that's not what they tell us in college and college must be right, ha. I am defiantly dealing with some of these issues now.


The first one, not teaching too much in one day, is really causing me problems currently. It is partially due to my lack of experience, however. I am finding that things that I think should only take 20 minutes are in reality taking more like 40 minutes. Although this is not the worst thing in the world, because I can always rearrange my plans for the next day, but it keeps happening. I am realizing that I need to plan less, but plan to expand on those things and create a deeper understanding.


The other "don't" that stood out to me was not letting kids shout out the answers. I am 100% guilty of this. At first I think I did it to help get an understanding of my students and which ones had it and which one did not, but now it is back firing. I really agree with the statement in the article that stated that other students won't even try because they know they will not be called on. I would really like to change this, although I know it is going to be a tough habit to break.


This was a great article for 1st year teachers.


Thanks,

Erin