But it is also a fact that every Summer I love reworking my class syllabus, and trying out new, creative ways to teach. Some things work, and some things don't - and that's okay, because it is what helps me grow as a teacher. But after last year, I felt the need to rethink my classroom environment. You see, one of the greatest gifts of being a teacher is our unique ability to build a culture in our classroom - even if it is only for an hour a day. It is just amazing to build a tiny world where expectations and norms can appeal to the best versions of ourselves.
So, in an effort to answer the question, "What can I do to make my classroom even more of a welcoming, tolerant, and positive environment?" Though there are many ways that I can work to achieve this, a good start is always with the rules...
So that is where I started. I changed the rules (sometimes its really cool to be a teacher!). This year, we are starting anew (though we kept some of the oldies, ie: Don't hit people). And it looks like this:
In this Classroom Community – We will always try to do these things (aka, The Rules):
1. SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND.
2. BE FRIENDLY, AND WHEN IN DOUBT, BE KIND.
3. BE YOURSELF, AND LET YOUR FREAK FLAG FLY.
4. TELL THE TRUTH, AND PLAY FAIR.
5. BE CURIOUS.
6. ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS, AND ASK FOR HELP.
7. DO NOT HIT PEOPLE.
8. DO NOT USE YOUR DEVICE/PHONE UNLESS INSTRUCTED.
So here's to a new school year, and hope that springs eternal. I can't wait to get started.