Think About This! // 3


In my musings about what is significant it always boils down to some rather simple, similar concepts.  My hope is that the profound is not lost in the simplicity. Michelangelo's famous quote is a standard I love to live and teach by: Simplicity is the ultimate Sophistication.

1.   Set the stage - Make your classroom a location or destination with organization, cleanliness, simple creativity and a lack of clutter. Ideas don't need to be new … learn from blogs, other teachers, TPT, Pinterest, etc.

2.       Start early -  Be organized for the next year, have garnered learning from the previous year and start early in the morning. (The "morning person", "evening person" concept is often not relevant!)

3.       Prioritize the priorities - Skills based courses like Language Arts and Math need distinct attention.  They form the foundation for all other learning.  Within the Common Core and varied Curriculum standards are the 80% significance and then there are the "nice to have" concepts of minor significance.   Focus on the 'Big Ticket Items'.

4.      Overlap the humanities/ sciences -  Social Studies/ English/ History/Art/Music overlap.  The exact Sciences and Math also overlap. Try to avoid the common boxes in education…learning is holistic. 

5.       Same location - Create a work location, a work time, a work expectation and a schedule within your classroom.   This should be posted on Monday morning so the student knows what is expected.  Students don’t want to get fed each next step any more than we do. We want to know what is expected, when it is expected, the criteria for completion etc.

6.       Same requirements - Your consistency is absolutely necessary, (1) you are the authority figure in this situation, (2) you have to differentiate your personal style from the requirements that education brings.  A teacher can do themselves an incredible favor by establishing a consistent regime in September.   This eventually rolls-out as a peaceful environment for the students because behavioral and educational expectations are understood.

7.       Remember nothing is innately “fun” or “not fun”! It’s like the cup being half empty or half full.  It really depends on how we view life and how much we are willing to color our lives and enhance our experiences.   Making everything "fun" is not your job.   Rather be who you are, laugh often, enjoy the process and "fun" will be a bi-product you all create together.  


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