Writing my way through the school year!

Posts tagged ‘popular teacher’

Twiducastic! Choosing to Chat!

Ok, I made that word up. And yes, I am a big fan of Twiducate! I registered for Twiducate a while ago, but rarely used it.  Lately though, I have been coming up with some cool ideas on how to implement it in my classroom.  Today we watched the film, “My Friend Martin.” The students watch it every year around King’s birthday, bit it never fails to make an impact. I wanted to do something different, something to make sure my students could talk about what they had seen.Enter  Twiducate Chat! I told my students when the movie was over, we would chat for 15 minutes about what took place in the movie. During the movie, I jotted down questions that I felt would promote critical thinking, I wanted to make sure the chat wasn’t a waste of time. Immediately, after the movie, all laptops opened,  ALL my students, even my lowest, contributed to the chat conversation. Most of the comments the students made to each other were thought-provoking and allowed the conversation to continue. When I told them to stop, they begged for more time. Some of my students made a point of using Vocabulary words when writing their comments. The conversations move along quickly, so  I printed the chat so that I could see exactly what was said, and who said it. Wonderful, wonderful activity! It’s a feature of Twiducate I plan to implement more often!

“35 Ways to Use Twiducate for Deeper Learning”

Students Are Not Your Friends!

Repeat after me, “I am not my students’s friend”, “I am not my students’s friend.” 
The sooner teachers come to realize this, the more control they will have of their classrooms. 

Too many times, teachers worry about whether the kids will like them.  They want to be perceived as the “cool” teacher or the “most popular” teacher. Let that go! You are the adult in the classroom, they are not your peers. There has to be a line drawn somewhere. I love my students, but they are not my friends, and I let them know this from the beginning of the school year. I remember explaining to one of my classes that I was not their friend. One student said, “That’s mean!” I replied, “My friends are my peers, people I work with or hang out with, not children.” I believe they understood what I meant.

   I rarely have a student that doesn’t enjoy being in my class, not because I’m the ” cool”,  but because of the “cool” way I teach.  How do you ask students to do what you’ve asked after you have told them a story about the blind date you had last night?   When my students cross the line, I tell them, or their peers tell them.I draw a line in the air or on a desk, and say, “This is the line, this side is adult business, and this is a child’s business, stay on your side.”  Unfortunately, that line has been blurred in a lot of homes. The students are included in every conversation the parents have, and when they come to school, they expect the same relationship with you.  It amazes me when I hear students share personal information about another teacher. I share some personal events from my life, vacations, stuff about my kids, loss of a family member, etc…, but my students didn’t know a thing about my divorce when I was going through it. 

If being the “cool” or “popular” teacher is truly a concern , here are some tips that make it happen naturally.
1.  Be friendly, but don’t be their friend!

2.  Teach with excitement! ( Incorporating Web 2.0 tools really works, they aren’t even aware they’re learning)

3.  Demand respect and give respect. (Draw the line)

Do I have fun with my students? All the time! But they know where the line is between teacher and friend, and if they cross it, I help them find their way back!

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