With a full 5 days under our belts, I thought I'd take the time to update my blog for this new school year!
Keeping with my vow from this summer and my professional learning, as inspired by Angela Maiers (and other educational leaders in my PLN), I began this year much differently than other years. On the first day, I did not go through a list of school/class rules. I did not lay out consequences. I didn't give a stern talk about behaviour.
I told my students that they matter to me. They matter to this class. That they ALL have a contribution to give, no matter what it is. That they all HAVE my respect at that very moment... no earning needed. And that the only thing that they need to do to maintain this great relationship that we are forming as a class is to be respectful - to themselves and others - because they will be respected by me and by others. They are all valued members of the class - equal in importance and contribution, regardless of their talents. I told them that they have a 'clean slate' - that no matter who they were or how they acted in the past... it doesn't have to matter now if they don't want it to; they have a fresh start to be the person they want to be!
The #youmatter manifesto is pinned on my classroom wall; printed on bright, neon, paper... typed in big, clear, bold letters so that no one forgets the motto of our class!
"In May, it won't matter what rules you made in September. It will be the relationships you have formed" was a quote from someone in PLN (I am so sorry I forget who!) that spoke to me. Students won't behave properly because I gave them a list of rules on Day 1; they will learn through the course of the semester the value in contributing to the class positively and being a caring member of the class.
I have noticed a difference already! The sheer number of students who go out of their way to say "goodbye", "have a great day", "thanks Miss" at the end of a class, so early in the year... or even going out of their way to stop by my class on their way to lunch or at the end of the day... it shows the impact of the respect they have received and are giving back.
This year, my students are going to MATTER. To me. To the school. To each other. Together, we will learn and grow and become the best versions of ourselves.
I know it can be done!
To read more about #youmatter, by Angela Maiers, check out her TEDx Talks video below and check out her blog:
Who am I?
Hi! I'm Megan. 21st century learner and teacher. I am passionate about DI, assessment, student success and #edtech. My blog is where I share what is happening in my classes, my professional learning and sometimes things that are on the outer circle of education. Comments always welcome!