Too many people in the general public continue to think that teaching is a job that anyone can do. Wrong! Teaching is a special calling. Teaching is a mission. Overworked and Under- appreciated - A Tribute to Teachers...
About Ginny Hoover...
Ginny Hoover took an early retirement after 31 years of teaching in Kansas public schools. Her experience spans the 5th through 8th grades. During the last ten years she has functioned as a trainer of teachers in a variety of areas in her district, surrounding districts, professional organizations, and teacher service centers. At the state level Ginny is a state trainer for the KS State Writing Assessment (based on the Six Traits Writing Model), a member of the Kansas Social Studies Committee for writing the social studies standards, benchmarks, and indicators, and the lead trainer for the state in government and civics.
Recently, Teacher TimeSavers published a variety teaching units and tutoring hookups that Ginny wrote and designed. These include a Six Traits materials, literary unit for Taming the Star Runner, Hookups for Language Arts, Transcripts of Trials for Goldilocks, The Wolf, and Mr. Dad, and Tactile/Kinesthetic Activity Patterns.
The Gifts of Children by Hoover and Carroll Killingsworth, a book about recognizing, acknowledging, and refining the gifts of children, is scheduled to be published some time this year. Visit Teachers Helping Children--The Gifts Project for additional information.
Joyce McLeod, Jan Fisher, and Ginny will soon have a classroom management book to be published by ASCD. It will cover managing time and space, managing the classroom, and managing instructional strategies.
The Gifts of All Children
by Carroll Killingsworth and Ginny Hoover
The Eclectic Teacher
by Ginny HooverIt's That Time Again, Ginny's List of Ten
It's that time of year again. Some of you may be meeting deadlines for your students to achieve the objectives (or indicators, whatever your district calls them these days) for the grade level. Some of you may be making hard decisions about whether to retain or pass students who have not achieved a level acceptable for passing. Some of you may be just plain tired. Some of you may be on overload with end of the year paperwork.
So, I challenge you to print out this list of ten and put it in their mailboxes encouraging your fellow teachers to try some of the ideas. Maybe, just maybe, this list of ten will help you get through those final days.
RAK---Do a random act of kindness for any teacher on the faculty. If you can do it anonymously do so. That teacher may be extra kind to many while trying to identify their helpful person.
Encourage faculty to "pay it forward" by doing three acts of kindnesses for others on the faculty. This could be a kind note or some kind words. Hey, you might even take "bus duty" or "hall duty" for someone who has had a particularly bad day. This does not include buying gifts…teachers have enough expenses without adding to that burden.
Smile. Smiles are somewhat contagious and are very inexpensive. In addition, it is hard to face a person smiling and not smile back!
Form a massage ring. Grab five to six teachers right before school or after, place chairs in circle with the backs of the chairs immediately in front of the next (circle the wagons!) and give each other a three to five-minute shoulder and neck massage.
Offer to listen. If someone seems down or troubled, offer to listen. You don't have to provide any answers, but show concern and offer sympathy. If you know a good answer for the issue, ask if they WANT input. If they do, then share it freely.
If you have time, offer to watch someone's class long enough for him/her to take a restroom break and get a drink (10 minute break).
Share an appropriate joke or tell a cute story---one that concludes with a happy thought.
Don't shirk your duty in the halls. This is the time of the year when things can get a bit out of hand. Be there! Prevention is truly worth a pound of cure!
Say nice things to students in the halls. Each time you must stop to correct, make sure you take time to stop and compliment at least three more students. Make sure the positive outweighs the negative.
Foster a positive teacher-student relationship. Avoid making issues a "them against us" (students vs. teachers). Instead foster an attitude of "together we can do this."
Years ago there was a story about a cabbie who picked up this plain looking woman (and I'd give credit if I knew who first told the story!). The cabbie gave the woman some very nice compliments. The passenger getting in heard and remarked, "That was a very plain looking woman."
The cabbie responded, "She's a teacher. Those words made her happy. Think how much better day her students will have because of that!" He continued saying that he tried to help set the tone of a person's day by delivering kind comments to his passengers. He liked to think that his handful of compliments made a difference to his customers and to the people within their environment. That perhaps he was changing the quality of the day--for hundreds of people--everyday. I think sometimes we forget the power of words…the power of a kind action.
Try it and let me know…I hang out around the Six Traits board and Golden Apples. I'm easy to find here!
For a printable version of this article click here.