EmbodyLearning

I ran across the Smart Classroom Management site this evening.  Looks like good stuff.  I was especially drawn in by the author’s first recommendation when confronted with a difficult situation in the classroom. Pause.  Picture of the author of SmartClassroomManagement.com

I’ll extend it to:

Pause for poise.

And future generations shall be guided to wisdom through their body of knowledge and their knowledge of the body.
The EmbodyLearning Manifesto
An embodied alphabet.  It has been argued that our youth are burdened with Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD).  As teachers and mentors, we reignite the inherent relationship we have with nature one letter at a time.

An embodied alphabet.  It has been argued that our youth are burdened with Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD).  As teachers and mentors, we reignite the inherent relationship we have with nature one letter at a time.

adiemtocarpe:

I started off bright, cheery and excited. I greeted my students at the door with a pencil and a plastic bag filled with cut up sentence strip that when put together was a short letter from me to them expressing my excitement for the year. Then, it just went downhill….

Some reflections, but no unsolicited advice, on a young teachers’ first day with the 4th grade:

* Kids speak a different language from “behavior plan”.  It’s good to have a plan, because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, but kids (like adults) want to know what’s in it for them.  Excitement, rewards, benefits: that’s what kids (and adults) like. After a while, some kids forget about the rewards because the benefits are internalized.  It takes a while, though.

* You can’t please all the people all the time.  As a classroom teacher, I focus on building on the positives (“who did I have a good interaction with today?” “What worked in my lesson plan and why?”) before addressing the negatives.  It’s a really special event when every single last kid in the class is engaged and on-task, and I have yet to meet a teacher that can foster that from 8am to 3pm, much less for half the day. 

* Kids (and adults) come around to structure.  The human body/mind is primed towards routine, but it also likes its old routines.  So any new routine is just as likely to be encountered with resistance as it is with excitement.  Routines are actions that become predictable, and thus comforting to most kids (and adults), until they are ready for a new routine.  Routines are the broken record that just keep coming back, from Day 1 to Day 180 of school.

* Buttons are meant to be pushed.  Kids (and some adults) are testing the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not.  They want to know what the consequences are if they cross a boundary. 

* A culture of respect is non-negotiable. Those who practice (and it takes practice) respect get more rewards, those that don’t get less.  I set up as many opportunities as possible throughout the day for kids to show respect to one another and to adults. Some kids need more of those opportunities than others, no kid (or adult) can do it 100% of the time!

An open hand offers the sweet gifts of Life. Huckleberries on Pt. Reyes Peninsula, 2008.

An open hand offers the sweet gifts of Life. Huckleberries on Pt. Reyes Peninsula, 2008.