Hello dear readers,
Thanks for following along on this bumpy adventure of my teaching career. It means the world that you’ve stumbled across this blog, or just this post, and continued to read. Thank you for caring about my students and about my reflections on my teaching practice. They mean the world to me, and I hope you care about them too through following their stories.
This post will be brief because, quite frankly, I’m exhausted! TGIF, right? One of my initiatives this year now that I’m in my third year of teaching and not crying weekly about being ill-prepared for this profession is to contact parents more frequently with positive comments regarding their children. At first I wasn’t sure how consistently I would uphold this goal of mine, but this week is the fourth one of school, and I’ve contacted at least one parent each week. I think that’s a good goal- one parent per week at the minimum.
I’m trying to notice the little moments, the quiet moments, that parents might not get a chance to see at home because they don’t spend forty hours with their children during the work week. Moments like a brilliant answer, a compassionate response when anger would have been acceptable, or a time when a student articulates how much awesome mom or dad is. Now that I’ve made this contact a routine, I find myself paying a particular type of attention to the words and behaviors of my students. I’m more observant of who they are as people. They are so much more dynamic now that I’ve decided to pay attention in a unique way so as to notice their loveliness and communicate it with their parents.
It’s exciting how pleased parents have been thus far to get that phone call or email that raves about their child. I’m curious to see if there are fewer discipline issues this year, and if there is any correlation to positive parent contact and student behavior.
PS- For anyone who is following the actual curriculum I’m teaching, we’re moving into reading The Outsiders, focusing on close reading strategies, argument writing, note taking, and the concept of a theme in a book. To kick off the unit, I created some Outsiders Clue games to get students familiarized with the multiple settings and the many characters in the book. It’s an engaging way to get students working together and making predictions about the book before they even start it. I’ll definitely use this style of prepping a unit in the future!