Six Easy Resolutions for 2009
One of the best things about teaching is the fresh start we get each new school year! The new calendar year doesn’t bring a new class, but it does bring the perfect opportunity to try new things, revamp classroom routines and re-energize yourself! Here are some that resolutions are easy to achieve and just might make your teaching life easier and more fun!
by Sue Gruber, M.A.
Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers www.bgrubercourses.com
Regular contributor to the Gazette
January 1, 2009
Try something new
January is the perfect time to try something new. Do that messy project that’s been tempting you! Try the idea that you found in the back of your file cabinet. Go out on a limb and trade classes for a half hour or so with a teacher friend at another grade level. Shake it up! It’s energizing to step away from the routine every now and then and do something completely different!
Tune up classroom procedures and routines.
Take advantage of the fresh start that January brings by investing time with your students to refine classroom procedures and routines. Make changes so your room runs in a way that works best for you and your students. When students know exactly what to do, you’ll have fewer interruptions and more time to teach!
End each day calmly.
The end of the school day can be such a hectic time! Strive to end each day peacefully. Here are some tips to make dismissal time in your classroom tranquil:
Invest the time this month and teach your students the steps you want them to take when they pack up at the end of the day. Walk them through the entire routine—role play, model and have students demonstrate the process. Break the routine into small steps and teach each one, it will help with some of the end of the day chaos.
Save your read aloud time for the end of the day. Have the kids pack up completely and then spend the last ten minutes or so reading aloud. It's a nice, calm way to end the day.
Have your students pack up five minutes early and take time to reflect on the day and talk about plans for tomorrow. When I taught fifth grade, the kids liked to make up a title for each day! If you write a class newsletter, this is the perfect time to elicit some responses from your class about the day’s events.
Sue Gruber taught the upper grades for years. In a moment of wild abandon, she decided to take the plunge and teach the grade she feared most—kindergarten! Sue just wrapped up her eleventh year in kindergarten and loves it. Who knows, the next grade level change might be to sixth grade!
Sue Gruber and Barbara Gruber, a mother-daughter writing team, have created dozens of products for Frank Schaffer Publications, Scholastic, The Education Center and other publishers. Barbara is a former teacher who was employed by Frank Schaffer Publications from l980 to l996. She developed and presented curriculum seminars nationwide for K-6 teachers.
Sue and Barbara launched Barbara Gruber Online Courses for Teachers in 2002. They personally write each course with today’s students and busy teachers in mind. Teachers can do coursework completely on their own, or, if they wish, interact on line with others. They can earn one, two or three semester units from University of the Pacific. Barbara and Sue provide practical strategies and ideas that can be put into action immediately without creating more work for teachers. Barbara and Sue have created exactly what teachers are looking for—teacher-friendly courses at affordable prices. You can find out about their courses at www.bgrubercourses.com
Sue teaches full time, manages Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers and loves writing for the Teachers.Net Gazette. She lives in Sonoma County with her husband and son. Barbara consults for Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers; however, she has “retired” from the business. Retirement for Barbara means she’s busier than ever in Healdsburg, California on a 25-acre working farm called Healdsburg Country Gardens. She and her husband are grape growers for local wineries, have three guest houses for visitors and host wine country weddings.