I often do not post a lot during the first few weeks of a semester largely because I believe that it is vital to start well at a breakneck speed. I've been setting up my feeds on iTunes for all of my classes (I've set up one at coolcatteacher.podomatic.com) and just getting things together!
Meanwhile my Introduction to Web to Podcast has been downloaded 169 times since I posted it on January 6th. I must say that I am stunned!
There are lots of discussions that I am contemplating right now, but when it comes down to it, I am a teacher first. As much as I'd love to immerse myself in the blogosphere, teaching is what makes my heart go pitter patter and gets me excited!
My most exciting moment came last week in Computer Fundamentals. I am doing a series on Time Management and Planning that I do in 9th grade just after the grades have gone out for the first semester. I've found that it makes a huge difference in getting kids back on track and have seen the results in students setting goals at this age. My 10th grade study hall students kept raising their hands and saying things like “Mrs. Vicki, are you going to tell them the story about ___ or about ___.” They remember the whole thing – exactly one year later.
That means something to me. It just does!
I hope you start this semester well! Remember the effort that you put in at the beginning pays off exponentially during the semester and allows you to relax and enjoy the end while other teachers are stressing because they haven't accomplished their objectives.
I hope to be back soon to share all of the exciting things I've been jotting down to tell you! Meanwhile, we'll be announcing the winners of the flat classroom project this weekend!
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I agree. One of my favorite relevant quotes is: “The more you prepare outside of class, the less you perspire in class.” The key is being organized. OK, now I have to get back to determining class activities for tomorrow! Have a great semester.
Vicki, When I was a young teacher a veteran teacher once told me that at the end of the day the best teachers leave bored and the students of the best teachers leave exhausted. Well, now that I’ve been teaching for almost twenty years I can tell you that I disagree with this advice. I certainly agree with your suggestion that the more you prepare the easier class will be. However, because my students do a great deal of work independently I often feel as if three students want to speak to me every minute. I’ve gotten used to totally ignoring students who are interrupting and giving all my attention to the student who’s turn it is for me to hep. Sometimes this feels mean on my part, but if I don’t focus on the student who I’m helping they don’t get the help that they deserve. (This might be significantly off topic, but your blog got me thinking about this.)
I just had to say that I just love the “Mrs Vicki” thing. It seems so sweet and kind quaint. My kids’ school has everyone calling everyone by their first names – teachers, cleaning staff, admin, students, parents… This is quite unusual in the UK, where it’s usually Mr Smith or Mrs Davis – I don’t know what is common practice in the US.
Dr. Kirk – That is so true. What a great quote!
Karyn- In many formal schools, they use last names and indeed when I was at this school we used last names, however, within the last 10 years or so, it has moved to first names and that is what I wanted to be. I guess because even 10 years a go my Mom taught in the same room and wanted to be “Mrs. Sue” that it would be natural that I was “Mrs. Vicki.”
Hello! I have to admit that this is the first time I have ever blogged. I know, it’s crazy. I do agree with your post though. I always try to stay ahead of the game, and stay organized. I have taught that to my nine and eleven year old, too. They are very successful in school because of it. I love teaching, and really look forward to going to work everyday. Each day holds great moments that I hold onto year after year. Today, I had a student who was retained last year state that he understood a concept. I sent him out to peer tutor immediately. He was so proud, and now has a sense that the world is at his fingertips. I look forward to checking out your site again soon. Thanks.
Andreya C. Boggs
Great job for what you’ve done and helping that student succeed. True heroes are amidst the small things.
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