Saturday, August 3, 2013

The End of Molasses Classes Part III

I'm back with Part III of The End of Molasses Classes, by Ron Clark.  {Check out Part I and Part II as well.}

Creating the Right Climate and Culture

40. Dress the Part; Attire Matters!
Yes, we all love our dress-down Fridays.   I'm even jealous of those teachers who can wear flip-flops to work!  Our dress code isn't super strict, but I try to dress professionally.  According to Mr. Clark, I could be doing a lot better!  At his school, all his teachers wear suits or a professional dress.  His reasoning includes; more respect from students and parents, a sense of pride and more confidence.  I know on Fridays, I definitely feel more relaxed, but maybe it is too relaxed.  I will definitely be updating my wardrobe this year (don't tell my husband).

51. Don't Constantly Stress About Test Scores
We teach to the test, we teach the test, we test.   These poor students are probably so sick of that word these days!  We need to stop sending the message to our students that the purpose of learning is to take a test.  Yes, it is important that students are tested in order to determine growth but we need to stray away from the idea that we are only teaching them so that they can get a good score.  In order to ensure these good scores and motivate students to do well, we shouldn't be holding a number over their heads.  In Mr. Clark's words, we should be "teaching our butts off."

60. Show Them Examples of Excellence
I viewed this as coinciding with not stressing the test scores.  We don't want students to do well just so that they score well on a test.  We want them to be successful in life.  Show students examples of individuals who are performing at their highest levels, such as an author, artist, athlete or actor.  Stress the importance of working hard in order to become a professional one day.

65. Encourage Children to Cheer for One Another
As teachers, we always celebrate the success of students {right??}.  However, we don't always encourage students to cheer each other on.  Have students clap, cheer and inspire each other.  What a positive classroom atmosphere that would create.  This strategy sets the tone for a supportive and safe learning environment.  

74. Fake it to Make it
This is a bonus one for the day.  The Fake it to Make it chapter appeals to not only teachers, but to everyone!  If you wake up in a bad mood, fake a good mood!  Force yourself to put a smile on your face and add a little pep to you step and eventually you will be in a good mood.

I just ordered my School Year Bundle from Educents and I am SO excited to start downloading these awesome products.  There are some pretty talented ladies in this set!  Click here or on the picture to check it out!

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