Reblogged from girlwithalessonplan  52 notes


evilroda answered: Got anything to say about bullying in schools? How to deal with it, its causes, victims, et cetera?

Teaching kids to stand up to their peers can do more than any school policy or program.  When kids call each other out and say, “That’s not cool.  Stop.  Leave hir alone,” it’s so much more effective.

With that said, we need to do more to teach kids what bullying ACTUALLY IS.  Bullying is systematic, targeted attacks.  Someone saying, “I don’t want to play with you,” or “I don’t want to work with you on this project,” isn’t bullying.  I swear, a kid got reported as a bully because he told another kid, “I don’t want you in this group for this project.”  When called down to the office he said, “____ sleeps in class and never does anything.  I refuse to work with him and carry him around while he benefits from the good grade I’m going to earn,” and the office supported him.  The “victim” refused to see what his peer was saying about him was criticism, not bullying.

Reblogged from girlwithalessonplan  56 notes


itsssnix answered: What, as a beloved teacher, do you do when your students start talking about some of your less loved and less…engaging colleagues?

I actually had to deal with this exact issue this week.  I said things like, “I’m sorry you’re having issues in ____’s class, and I’m flattered you feel you can talk to me about this, but you need to choose better words,” and “I know you think you’re complimenting me when you say you’d rather be in my class, but you need to think about how that makes me feel for ____,” and “sometimes we have to learn how to work with those whose personalities just don’t jive with our own.  I’m sorry you’re not happy in there, but what kind of experiences can we take away from this?” 

I spend a lot of time with these three kids coaching them how to speak professionally and communicate effectively with the teachers they don’t get along with.  Honest to God:  We practice conversations.  How to ask for make up work; how to ask for an extension; how to ask for help.  They’re nice kids under that rough exterior, but they have terrible communication skills.  Then, they rub other teachers the wrong way because of it. 

THEN I felt awful when one of my girls tried her “ask nicely on how to do make up work to improve my grade” talk and it disintegrated.  She said, “*sigh*  I tried talking with Miss S about this too,” and the teacher actually said, “Well that’s not nice you’re talking about me to other teachers.”  Like…no.  We weren’t talking ABOUT you.  We were trying to come up with ways this girl who improve her grade and be an advocate for herself. 

Reblogged from wonderfulslumber  42 notes

Dear Student Teachers


As someone who finished their student teaching last fall, and is starting their first year as a lead teacher at the elementary level, and is currently feeling very overwhelmed and lost/confused, here is some advice for you: 

1) Ask a lot of questions, even the dumb ones. If you don’t know what an acronym stands for, ask! If you don’t know how to handle a situation with a difficult student, ask! If you are unsure how a student’s IEP is being followed, ask! If you aren’t sure how to word something to a parent, ask! Also ask why teachers chose to have the structures and procedures that they do, like the organizational systems, the chairs, tables rather than desks, the decorative aspects of the classroom. I wish I had asked a lot more questions, especially those concerning balancing personal life/work. Also ask where they buy the things that they have! That will save you a lot of time from spending hours going to store to store the weekend before you start teaching. Also figure out how they were able to adhere the things they have, like if they’re using velcro, magnetic tape, mounting tap, to hang up posters, attach name tags, etc. 

2) Take criticism in stride. Don’t feel like you’re being too harshly criticized or feel like your mentor is unfairly judging your teaching. And don’t get pouty when they try to offer you constructive feedback; your mentor is there to support you to become a better teacher! You will appreciate that they were honest and upfront with you, rather than telling you what you wanted to hear. 

3) You’re supposed to be bad at teaching in the beginning. You’ve never done it before, and no one is good at teaching when they first get started. The sooner you come to terms with how bad you are, the sooner you can get better at it. Reflection is the key to getting better at teaching. 

4) Take a multi-vitamin, eat lunch, and get a lot of rest. If this is your first time being around kids for an extended period of time, you will get sick. a lot. I was sick every other week. 

5) Talk to other staff in your school, and appreciate the community/support that you have, especially among your classmates. If you are hired at a school like mine, you will miss gripe sessions with people who are in similar situations and who understand what it is like to be a new teacher who has little idea of what they are doing. And if you are student teaching with other student teachers, it is very nice to have them as a support system, but you will learn more if you talk to actual in-service teachers. 

6) Photocopy and take pictures of everything your mentor teacher is doing, especially of routines that are in place. I didn’t realize that when I would be starting as a new teacher, that I would be starting from scratch. I very wrongly assumed that I would remember the first day of school games, activities, and procedures we went over, but I didn’t, and documenting these things would have saved me a lot of time googling. 

7) Ask to observe teachers other than your co-op, especially in other grade levels. There will be talented, veteran teachers in your school who have excellent control of their classroom and plan engaging lessons for their students, both of which you will want to emulate. It is hard to mimic what you haven’t gotten a chance to see. There is also the very likely possibility that you will get hired in a grade level different from the one you student taught in. For example, in third grade, we never did morning meetings. Now that I’m in first, I have a limited idea of how to make my morning meetings and calendar time flow in an engaging way for my students, or what a first grade classroom should feel like. 

8) Say yes to everything, teaching-wise. Don’t feel like you aren’t ready to take over lead teaching for every subject, and then not teach everything. As a full-time teacher, you will be teaching everything, and it will be hard for you to adjust to that if you haven’t had that experience. When I was student teaching, I taught 90% of the time, but I wish I had gotten a chance to teach the rest of that 10%, because that is where my weaknesses are. 

9) Take part in administrative things that are separate from the actual teaching. Grade papers/quizzes, input grades, write letters home, correspond with parents, sit in on I&RS and IEP meetings…while these things aren’t typically associated with the responsibilities of a lead teacher, you will need to know how to do these things when you finally do become a teacher, and you will be glad that you are ready for them when the time comes. 

10) I really ran out of steam during the last one, so just enjoy it! Get to know your kids. They are adorable, and you will miss them. They are the first students that you will ever really have, and let them know how much you care about them, too.