Sunday, March 10, 2013

Teach Like A Champion

If you have not read "Teach Like A Champion" by Doug are truly missing out on a brilliant resource.

I have never considered classroom management to be a problem for me. I have 2 children, I've worked as a juvenile detention officer at a secure, lock-down facility, and I have never struggled with maintaining control and composure around children. Until now.

Apparently, I have abandoned everything I know about consistency and being relentless in my expectations. I think I have been afraid of seeming "out of control" and didn't want others to see the struggle. No one wants to be the girl with 10 office referrals a day!

I have a genuinely rough bunch this year. I think it is a mixture of a lack of consistency with discipline, both at home and at school, and some sincere "I just don't care" attitude problems. I have been incredibly emotional and upset most days. I come home venting to the spouse so much that he doesn't even think I enjoy teaching anymore. And I haven't.....not lately. But that's not because of the teaching, or the is because I've allowed too much to go on without consequence.

While reading TLaC, I'm reminded of the importance of consequence.  That consequence can be a simple verbal reminder, or a missed recess, or a parent phone call or an office referral. The thing I must remember is that their actions determine my reaction and that I am not responsible for their behavior choices. I will be proactive, but in the is their choice.  I am responsible for creating a classroom climate conducive to learning and greatness. I must be consistent. 

I was also reminded of the value of great expectations. The book talked about the difference between praise and acknowledgement. You do not praise a student for meeting expectations...because that is expected. You acknowledge it, but not praise it. I cannot tell you how many times I fail to so this. I almost did cartwheels last week when a student put his name on his paper. This sends the wrong message to the rest of my class. They've been putting their names on their papers all year and I never get that excited for them! I am bound and determined to change this. I will celebrate excellence and going above and beyond...I will no longer act as if meeting the expectations is something to jump up and down about. It is expected. Period.

I know I'm not the only teacher in the world {at least I hope I'm not} that has experienced this cuh-RAZ-iness. And I hope that reading about my struggle and the amazing resource I'm using will help a fellow teacher in their endeavors to create a classroom culture of respect, expectations and greatness!

Wish me luck....because when we return from Spring is. on!!!


  1. This book sounds fascinating! I am going to put it on my summer reading list. I love your blog design! The colors and patters are so bright and cheerful! The erasers are cute touch!

    Third grade is one of the harder grades to teach, especially with the huge gap in (math) curriculum between 2nd and 3rd grade. This time of the year is very crazy, but the reward is that May is fun. I think you will really grow to love it! It is very difficult for any teacher to take over a class in the middle of the year. Your principal must have great faith in you to give you the job. Hang in there!

    Teaching With Moxie

  2. It is such an amazing book. It's incredibly easy to follow. It gives you step by step instruction (what exactly to say and how to respond to students and what they say). It. is. AWESOME!

    And thank you! I love it! Christi did such an amazing job!

    I appreciate all the support and kind words! I sure am lovin' this teacher blogging community. Everyone has been fantastic!