Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Silly Times

“What have you done playful or silly lately?”

It wasn’t until I saw this question that made me realize I’m too serious most of the time. I don’t remember anything I’ve done that was playful or silly lately and that isn’t good. I feel as if I’m the most boring un-fun person I’ve ever known!

My husband can easily be playful or silly very easily. He makes his own lyrics up to familiar songs. He teases me and makes me laugh. Sometimes he will even act silly in public and not give a care what people think!

I wish I could be more playful or silly because I think more people would think I was more fun to be around. Luckily I don’t think the friends that I have care that I’m not that silly but maybe they would think I’m even more fun to be around if I was more playful.

This has me thinking so much about it that I am going to try to be more conscious of my actions to see if I spontaneously do something playful or silly. I honestly can’t think of a thing that I’ve already done in the past year that would be considered playful or silly. Wow! What a stick in the mud I am! Plus I’m not sure that if I’m thinking about it if it would end up being playful or silly or just a poorly executed act of being playful or silly.

This worries me that I come across this way to students or I expect them to be more serious. When they are playful or silly, do I frown or discourage them from doing this? Do I tell them that they need to act more mature? What is wrong with being playful or silly? Why do I feel this way?

This question has brought all sorts of feelings and questions into my head. What a dilemma!

Can you answer the question? What have you done playful or silly lately? Please share.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

My Inner Critic

"What clever ways do you have to get rid of your inner critic?"

I have a terrible inner critic who can fill me with fear and keeps me paralyzed from taking action.

I remember reading something or hearing someone also call it “stinking thinking” which sums it up equally as bad.

Many people say that I’m harder on myself than others are on me and that I’m a perfectionist. I don’t know how I ended up that way. Maybe it was my upbringing because my parents expected nothing less than my best and I always thought “my best” meant being perfect. If it wasn’t perfect then I didn’t think I was doing my best.

I remember getting a convertible Triumph Spitfire years ago. It was a stick shift and I didn’t know how to drive it so my husband taught me. There were times I would cry in frustration because I just couldn’t do it smoothly and my husband assured me that with practice I would get it. He would never criticize me and encourage me by telling me I was doing a great job but if it wasn’t going right, then I didn’t feel I was doing my best. He kept telling me to stop being so hard on myself.

I also can tell others the same thing and not expect them to be perfect but I have a hard time telling myself that.

When I knit something and I see a mistake, I usually have to rip it out and start over because I can’t live with that mistake. Lately, I’m trying to ask myself if anyone will notice or care about that mistake and if not, just fix it at the point I’m at and move on. I think I need to do the same with other things I do.

I need to ask important questions about my mistakes such as:
·      How noticeable is the mistake?
·      What impact will it make if I leave the mistake as it is?
·      Can I just learn from this mistake so it doesn’t happen again in the future?

If the mistake is not noticeable and doesn’t really have much of an impact, I need to let it go and let it be. I need to learn what I did wrong so I don’t repeat it.

If the mistake is noticeable or can have a detrimental effect, then I need to fix it.

By sharing these thoughts with my students, I can be a good role model for them. I think many of my students appear to not care about their schoolwork because they are paralyzed with fear about making a mistake. I need to help them understand that an error is not a terror.

How do you fight your inner critic? Please share.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Back of the Book Blurb #72 Challenge

From Sioux's PageSioux offers this challenge.

She posts a picture and you need to imagine it as a graphic for a book. You choose the genre and book title, and then write a blurb that might appear on the back of the book.

The blurb should be 150 words or less (not including the title). The genre is wide-open.
Each blogger should include their blurb on their own blog, and link back to this post. Have fun with it. Go to the other posts and comment on the other blurbs.  You can do fancy techy things with the photo.

(Join in if you dare...! It sounds like fun! I think this would be a lot of fun to do with students especially since they would be expected to write 150 words or less!)

The Attention Getter

Dobby was amazed what his humans will do for attention.

He watched the mother dress in fancy clothes and put lots of make-up on to get her husband’s attention. The husband was so focused on his job and was busy trying to get his boss’s attention. Ginny was just a little baby and cried all the time so she learned how to get everyone’s attention. Little Jimmy wanted attention too so he had done something really bad.

Dobby knew what Jimmy had done and that he had done it to get his parents’ attention. Jimmy would be in so much trouble when they found out what he had done.  If Dobby could talk, he could find a way to help Jimmy. He could tell the adults what happened and that Jimmy didn’t mean to do it.

So, Dobby had to figure out a way to help Jimmy.  (147 words)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 8/18/17

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels:  E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

Nanospace -  NanoSpace is a web-based, virtual theme park for children of all ages! Explore the world of atoms and molecules with games, activities and short animations in a fun-filled amusement park and learning environment launched in 2012.” (L:G; SA:S)

What happens when you have a concussion? – Ted-Ed talk; “Each year in the United States, players of sports and recreational activities receive between 2.5 and 4 million concussions. How dangerous are all those concussions? The answer is complicated and lies in how the brain responds when something strikes it. Clifford Robbins explains the science behind concussions” (L:H; SA:A)

Map of Play – “find parks and playground near you.” (L:T; SA:A)

FlipAnim- “create flipbook animations online” (L:G; SA:A)

Mapping History – “interactive and animated representations of fundamental historical problems and/or illustrations of historical events, developments, and dynamics.” (L:G; SA:SS)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Communications with Parents

“What aspects of communication are most challenging for you? What frustrates you about communication?”

I think the hardest part of communicating is when I can’t reach a student’s parents. There may be many reasons for this. The contact phone numbers on school records are not always the most accurate. Phone numbers change or numbers may be recorded wrong. I also get very nervous every year during the initial contact. I want to put my best foot forward and hope the parents like me.

Many are afraid of hearing from their child’s teacher because of previous bad experiences. Maybe their child has been in trouble in the past and the only time they have heard from the teacher is to hear what their child has done wrong.

Some parents may feel that the teacher is judging them or criticizing them. Suggestions that may help the child may make some parents feel as if the teacher is telling them that they are not doing a good job.

I usually ask the students to give me the best phone number to reach their parents and I try to call on the first day. If I get a wrong number or a disconnected number, I have the student call their parents with me present so that I can get a number to reach them. If I can’t get them to do this, I explain to them that I will have to make a home visit if I don’t hear from the parents by the end of the week and usually most of them will call me. If I still don’t reach the parents I make a home visit.

I start off the contact by introducing myself and telling them how excited I am about having their child in my class. I also tell them that I will be contacting them often to share with them news about the class and about the good things their child is doing in class. I then offer a phone number for them to reach me (I usually give them my personal phone number but I encourage other teachers to give them a google voice number if they don’t want to do this) and ask that they don’t call me before 7 am or after 9 pm. I also encourage them to call me if they have any concerns or problems rather than waiting for the next day of school. This has helped de-escalate many potential angry situations because the student has not told the whole story when they got home.

I also explain that we are a team and it will take all of us to help the student be successful this year. That is my primary goal and I want the parents to know this.

Once I can establish a rapport with the parents, regular contact is usually not a problem. I ask the parents if they haven’t heard from me that they are free to call me and check on how their child is doing. But it is the initial contact that is the hardest and most challenging.

How do you communicate with your students’ parents? What do you find the most challenging? Please share.