Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Let's Get It Started!

Wow! What an amazing first session! Many, many thanks to Jean Kilpatrick-Ruebner and Jenny Bredemeier for all their help, planning, and leadership!

Our very large group started out with introductions and a brief description of what we wanted to gain from these meetings:

Our Take-Aways (in no particular order - sorry if I missed yours!)
  • New ideas, 
  • Invigoration, 
  • Relax, 
  • Have fun, 
  • Recharge, 
  • Collegiality, 
  • Learn about the Ron Clark Academy, 
  • Warm fuzzies, 
  • Positivity (Is that a word? Well, it is now!) , 
  • Absorb ideas to become more effective, 
  • Inspiration, 
  • Personal growth, 
  • Reflection, 
  • Reignite passion for teaching, 
  • Gather energy

We went through the basic "administrivia" paperwork that is required for such activities. Next we developed a sign-up for group facilitation & treats. I was VERY IMPRESSED with how quickly the "Facilitators" columns filled up! We'll work out treats and what-not later. THANK YOU ALL for getting in there and helping out! 

Our focus this evening was on the first 2 chapters of Crash Course: Chemistry and Magic. Some of the important lessons we learned from these 2 chapters included:
  • Relationship-building is essential - With both students AND with teachers. 
  • Look for ways to inject your personality into classroom activities, AND look for ways to encourage kids to express their personalities (appropriately) into their work & activities, too!
  • NO FEAR! Try new things, ask questions, explore... 
  • Teach respect for both school and others through daily activities.
  • Teach the expectations, reinforce and reteach. Soon these will become second nature, both for kids and for teachers. 
  • Home visits are a great way to establish a foundation for a positive relationship. 
  • It is harder to build relationships as students get older. Shorter-term classes are also a challenge. For middle school kids, know your sports - it helps.
  • Consistency works! Focus on the positives!
  • Every child wants to be seen. Make sure every child in your classroom is seen and recognized as a person as some point. 
  • Some kids respond to hugs. Some respond to a positive message via Chromebook. Find what kids respond to by trying! NO FEAR!
Our next meeting is Wednesday, February 4, 2015. Molly Kleine, Jenny Bredemeier, and Orinda Benbow will lead our session. Orinda and Christinel Cain will provide snacks. As always, we'll meet in the Board Room at Lincoln Education Center from 4-5PM. Committee Pay and Professional Development Hours are available, and all are welcome!

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