5th Year Reflection: Classroom Community

Morning Meetings
  • I still am having trouble incorporating morning meetings. One, is finding time with packed pacing guides, and another is the the class not buying into it the way I would like. It might have been the time of day I was trying to do this (the class being listless and hungry being right after specials and before lunch). It might have been I was too willing to abandon this routine when it didn’t immediately play out the way I expected.
  • I pride myself in having a respectful community. This needs to be more of a priority in the schedule for the next school year. Classroom community is happening every minute, but why not also make explicit, purposeful time for it?


Curriculum Pacing

  • 1st year of teaching: Went along with the team with pacing. When it got near SOL time, we were behind schedule which created stress.
  • 2nd year of teaching: I zoomed through the pacing and did not stay on pace with my team. I loved not having added stress of being behind near SOL time. This strategy’s con, though, was having to remediate more.
  • 3rd year of teaching: I tried to not zoom through pacing all of the time and take more time when needed for difficult content skills.
  • 4th year of teaching: I was more generous with the early weeks of school on instilling routines and acceptable behavior in the classroom. This initially cut into instruction time, but in the long run saved time.
  • 5th year of teaching
    • For the first weeks of school, I not only want to take my time establishing routine (instead of jumping right into instruction) but also spend time on “guidance” type lessons. Otherwise, these social issues always come up on their own, unwelcomed, throughout the school year. I do give lessons on “making good choices” but want to spend even more time on this. Examples include:
      • Staying away from gossiping (What information should be passed along, what you should listen to, what you should believe)
      • Responsibility with personal responses versus trying to change what other people believe and say
      • Speaking up for yourself firmly but respectfully
      • How you play around and joke around with friends at home may or may not be appropriate at school.

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