Reflect on your classroom vs. school teacher mannerisms. Do you think you lean more one way than the other? What do you do to embody a "school teacher" approach? Is there anything that you feel you can do better?
The older I get the more I become a classroom teacher. As a younger teacher I had a lot more energy to help other teachers and be out in the school more working on committees in addition to doing my job. Now, as I am growing older, I am finding my priorities to be inside of my classroom for the students who I find in my classroom program. This is for several reasons. The first is that admittedly I am growing older and finding myself to be more tired, but also less patient with other adults. The 2nd is that I am finding the students within my own classroom walls need me more and more, I find them to be less resilient than when I first began to teach. What I can do better is take advantage of the opportunities that do come my way in the school at large and be more patient with those who haven’t been in the schools as long as I have.
Refer back to Dr. Pysyk (page 74) who went out of his way every morning to greet students as they came into the building. After a while other staff members stood outside their classroom doors to greet students as well. Since school is not in session right now, this may be more difficult to implement. However, consider something that you can do to disrupt your routine for the better. How can you connect with students that you may not be doing already? Or what do you currently do to make sure that you connect with your students and set the tone for your classroom/school?
The thing I do that connects with students the most is making good phone calls home periodically. It is so much fun when students come in and look at me…”You called my mom last night?” They just don’t understand why I would take the time to make a phone call and let their parents know they had a good day or did well on a test. I think, or I hope, it shows I care about them.
Something we do as a school is send written postcards to students through the mail. The postcards are printed with our school mascot and the school provides the postage. I just have to take the time to write the message to the students. I like this practice and I have a goal for this upcoming year to keep a list and send one to every one of my students. I want to make sure I have found something good to send home to them.