|Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.7||July 2009|
|Cover Story by Lawrence Meyers|
|Is There Such a Thing as "The Great Teacher"?|
|You can make up all the checklists you want. You can take advice from your mentors. At the end of the day, what lies behind one's teaching style is what matters. A "Great Teacher" is the right teacher at the right time, at the right place.|
|Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching|
|Teachers Are the Difference|
|Now in her sixth year of teaching, Melissa Dunbar has helped her students achieve a pass rate of between 92% - 99% over the years, with her ESL and Economically Disadvantaged students achieving a 100% pass rate this past school year!|
|»||Writing for Educational Publishers – Inside Secrets Sue Gruber|
|»||Self-Injury In Children Leah Davies|
|»||The School of No Knocks? Todd R. Nelson|
|»||Using Imaging to Move or Change Behavior Marvin Marshall|
|»||The Busy Educator's Monthly Five Marjan Glavac|
|»||Substitute issues: What to Wear & Too Much Love Barbara Pressman|
|»||Student Travel Topics: “Staycations” Expose Students to Other Cultures & Packing for Safety Josette Bonafino|
|»||Making The Case to Parents for Broadening, Not Narrowing, The Curriculum Dorothy Rich|
|»||Red Basket & Problem Solving Forms Rick Morris|
|»||The No.1 Ladies Detective Series Writer - Interview with Alexander McCall Smith Tim Newlin|
|»||Teachers and Technology: A Field of Dreams? Matt Levinson|
|»||Resources for Teaching Students with Autism Alan Haskvitz|
|»||Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy to Questioning Techniques in the Classroom Panamalai R. Guruprasad|
|»||Tips on Maximizing High School Physics Teaching Stewart E Brekke|
|»||The Most Cost Effective Approach to Improve Teacher Education Edward Strauser|
|»||Merit Pay Problematic, Money Is Not the Ultimate Motivator for Teachers Marion Brady|
|»||Launches an Online Degree in Special Education Drexel University|
|»||Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes Barb Stutesman|
|»||Today Is... Daily Commemoration Ron Victoria|
|»||The Lighter Side of Teaching|
|»||Video Bytes; Assume The Position, Lost Generation, Bathtub IV, Walk On - ESPN Video, Funeral, Heal, and At Home with Mrs. Hen|
|»||Teacher Blogs Showcase|
|»||Printable - Sweet Rules for the Classroom|
|»||Featured Lessons, Wisdom from the Chat Achives, and Timely Printables Especially for July!|
|»||Getting and Keeping the Attention of 3 & 4 Year Olds|
|»||Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers|
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Red Basket & Problem Solving Forms
K.I.S.S.! Albert Einstein once said that everything should be as simple as possible. With that in mind, Rick offers two extremely simple, yet highly effective tools that will reduce stress and save you time and energy. One a "Red Basket" that keeps the teacher on top of urgent matters, and the other an ingenious technique that shifts problem solving from teacher to students.
|by Rick Morris
Regular to the Gazette
July 1, 2009
There’s something to be said for the notion of “A Place For Everything and For Everything A Place.” Aside from the fact that strict adherence to this principle could conceivably become some kind of obsessive/compulsive straight jacket, knowing where something can be found helps to reduce stress and conserve energy. And this simple little tool will do both.
It’s nothing more than a red wire basket† that sits on a filing cabinet right next to my desk. The sole purpose for its existence is to hold non-academic papers and things that need my attention.
A short list of items suitable for the Red Basket might include:
… a copy of that week’s school bulletin
By having a special place for these materials—and, again, I’m not talking about anything academic; I’m talking about the day-to-day school business stuff that is sent my way—they become easier to manage.
That wasn’t always the case during my early BRB days. (Before Red Basket.) Back when I was relatively new to the profession, a part of my normal pre-morning-bell routine would consist of completing the following steps:
Sad but true; true but sad.
It’s better now because I have a dedicated place to keep all of the stuff I need to take care of. And although it took a few weeks to develop the habit of keeping the business items in the Red Basket, it eventually became automatic. And since these business items are now all in one place, I can work on something for a bit and then just toss it back into the basket knowing it will be there the next time I’ve got a spare moment.
Another advantage to the Red Basket is the fact that it is accessible to my students. They all know that the Red Basket is a place where they can place something they might have otherwise felt compelled to deliver to me personally. The result of this simple understanding is that no one ever interrupts my guided reading group in order to hand me some random note from Mommy. It just doesn’t happen. Instead, the student deposits the note directly into the basket secure in the knowledge that Mr. Morris will find it waiting patiently for him when he returns to his desk.
Challenge: Force yourself to have an empty basket by the end of the week. According to the latest corporate management gurus, one of the secrets of successfully dealing with paperwork is to handle a paper just one time.
It’s in your hand.
Do what needs to be done now.
If left neglected, the Red Basket of Things to Do will become the Red Basket of Things That Should Have Been Done a Month Ago.
† The photo is purposely black-and-white because: 1) they don’t make red wire baskets anymore; and 2) I didn’t want anyone thinking the basket had to be red in order to work properly. It just so happened that red wire baskets were available at the time I bought mine. Honestly, the color doesn’t really matter all that much. Feel free to get any color you wish. Just make sure that whatever you choose as a home for your business stuff is somewhat unique and stands out from all of the normal school-issue items that already populate your classroom. In other words, a wire basket is better than, say, the lid to a case of Xerox paper because the basket is bit more distinctive. A small point, I know, but one I wanted to make.
If you do happen to find red wire baskets somewhere, send me an email and let me know. A school district I work with is asking for 50 of them.