Rallying the Troops

My dear teacher-friends, we have a newbie in need! Grab your rulers and rubrics and your favorite texts and gather ’round!

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Derek, over at EatsBugs, had a conversation not too long ago with his principal. It turns out that his principal sent the clear message that Derek needs to work on his classroom management skills if he wants to keep his job next year.

While he is understandably shaken by this conversation – NONE of us likes to have our shortcomings pointed out like that – he’s taking it in precisely the right way; he’s using the suggestions as a launching point for making his teaching practice better. He’s not downhearted or depressed or defeated, he’s inspired – he motivated, he’s challenged, he’s stoked, and he wants our help.

I am honored to have you all as part of my community. Among my readers I have a wide and impressive collection of experience – from early childhood educators up through the University level – and in about every concentration I can think of. I have readers who don’t earn their living as teachers, but who are teachers nonetheless. You are all smart and kind and knowledgeable and generous, and I am proud that Derek asked “*chilibringfriends*” That’s you guys. Will you help?

Go on over here and chime in. What do YOU do as part of that amorphous, undefinable skill we teachers call “classroom management”? What challenges do you find yourself facing? What have you got totally knocked? What advice or suggestions would you offer my friend who wants to be the best teacher he can be?

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7 Comments

Filed under admiration, Blogroll, colleagues, concerns, crossover, frustrations, Learning, Questions, Teaching, the good ones

7 responses to “Rallying the Troops

  1. How kind of you to rally us! I’ll head over to EatsBugs later today and leave a word of encouragement, maybe even a word of insight.

  2. *slack jawed joy* Wow. Honored and appreciative. Thank you to everyone in advance.

  3. drtombibey

    One of patients is a teacher. He drives the brass crazy with his unconventional methods. Often they will observe his classroom only to find he standing on a table in the center of the room, waving papers and behaving in a manic fashion. They have decided to fire him a couple of times, but then the end-of-grade scores roll in and his are the best. He has outlasted three administrations.
    When he comes to my office, he tells me he loves those kids, and wants to do what it takes to teach them. I know he is an odd cat, but he makes me want to be in school. Maybe I’m just a big kid, but I think he’s got it all right.

    -Dr. B

  4. I’ll head over to eatsbugs, too, but I think Dr. Bibey has something important to say about “classroom management.” If the principal means discipline, we need to very careful. Our ideas of what constitutes a classroom environment conducive to learning have become increasingly mean spirited in recent years. If the idea is to walk into a controlled environment where everyone is quiet, people each talk one at a time, hands are raised, etc., etc., then maybe the principal needs to learn something. If the classroom is filled with lots of purposeful noise – kids discussing with each other, people engaged in different but appropriate activities, different kids learning with different styles, and yet a skilled observer can see teaching and learning going on, there’s not much to worry about. Chaos, on the other hand, is also pretty easy to recognize. In such a state there’s no one listening, no one thinking, no one growing. I’m going to visit him now and see what it sounds like to me. – Ted

  5. See? I KNEW you guys would come through! Thanks – you’re the best!

  6. I’ll head over there! It’s really sweet of you to bring your friend’s blog to our attention! Oh, this is why I love the edusphere!

    Enjoy the holiday season!

  7. Kim

    Mrs Chili,

    You are the kind of teacher and colleague who makes our profession better every day. Thank you for caring about others and our profession in such a tangible way that you would answer a “newbie’s” call for help!

    You are awesome!

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