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msusong

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Thinking back on last year, what could your students expect from you? Page 18—Is this what you wanted from Day 1? What would you change? What will you want to be different next year?



Post your response to these questions below.

(FYI: I will post each discussion question by the end of the designated day noted in the syllabus).

Thank you for your thoughtful response!!!


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Maggie Susong
ATPE Member Engagement Coordinator
mmlillie

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Reply with quote  #2 
I was an assistant in a PreK classroom last year.  The students could always expect me to show them respect, to help them when they needed it, to help them learn how to do something on their own, to teach them with patience, to provide a clean and safe classroom, to correct them when their behavior warranted it, and to care about them.  Although I didn't go into the year with a list like this, it seemed to evolve naturally as the days went by.  I probably wouldn't change anything drastically the next time, but would discuss these things with the kids from the beginning of the year.  I like the idea of having teacher expectations and student expectations, and holding each other accountable for them.

This coming year, I'll be taking on a 3rd grade classroom so I'm sure it will look very different.  I will be explicit at the beginning with what they can expect from me: respect, a positive learning environment, fairness, patience, my best effort, etc.  And I'll try to review these every so-often to ensure that I'm actually living up to them.
theteach

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Reply with quote  #3 

My students knew that I would be at the door to greet them into the classroom and that they would have a “to do” list posted on the board.  Usually the “to do” list would tell the students what materials they needed for the day.  As the school year went on, the students were given an assignment at the door.

Pages 16 – 21 – Preparing before school, was quite an eye-opener!   I learned that I have done a few of those things already; like short, simple, and easy classroom rules. But I have learned that I have many other things that I need to do, like positive expectations of all students, a better first day script, agenda, and assigned seats!  I never thought that not assigning seats could be that big of an issue, but now I do.  I have been allowing my students to control the class from the first day! No wonder I had issues.  Also, by not explaining all of my procedures, my students have struggled.

As a teacher coming down from 6th grade to 4th grade, I have learned many things that I would change due to the grade level and the items listed in the first chapter.

In response to reading this first chapter, I have already started my slide show for procedures, plan to create a reminder banner for the desks, and revisit what procedures I expect from my students. 


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Angela R Ritter
4th Grade Writing Teacher
Teetime9

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thinking back on last year, what could your students expect from you? Page 18—Is this what you wanted from Day 1? What would you change? What will you want to be different next year?

Last year was my first year to teach an inclusion/pull-out program after having taught resource classes for the last 19-years. I did and will always continue to greet students in the hallway regardless of whether or not I provide special education service to them as I teach ALL students and want my classroom to be a safe place for any student who may need help regardless of their struggles and labeling. 

I did share with students that would be entering my class for support what the procedures and expectations were of them as well as the consequences (reward or discipline), but I did not post those expectations as I have always done in my own class per say. I will make sure that procedures and expectations are posted throughout the room this next year. 


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Sherry Ayres
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Reply with quote  #5 
In thinking back over my year, I can definitely say my students received quality instruction, a positive learning environment, respect, fairness and my best effort.  It is what I hope to achieve each year.  However, I don't let the kids know they can expect that from me, it's more what I expect from myself.

I also did not explicitly set out my expectations of them.  I conducted class in a manner that encouraged the responsibilities I desired.  In recognizing this, I think it would be better if I listed what the students can expect from me, as their teacher, as well as what I expect from them, as my students and not just imply it through my actions or expectations of them.

Some of the students may not realize what I expect of myself for them completely and I think they would appreciate knowing I wanted to do a good job for them too and that it is fair for them to expect that from me, their teacher.

And definitely it is important and comforting for them to know exactly what is expected of them in my classroom.  I will add these teacher/student responsibilities to my first day routines and reinforce them daily for the rest of the year.

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Jennifer Zermeno
OnaBethDay

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Reply with quote  #6 
I want to do more "getting to know you" activities that engage the students and help them love writing! I want then focus on procedures, but not bore them!
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Ona Beth Day 
ktymniak

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Reply with quote  #7 

I teach high school so my students respond very well to procedures.  When they know how I expect things to be done, they are able to do them for themselves.  High school students dislike very much being treated as children, so when I am able to give them autonomy in day to day procedures, they feel much more as if they are responsible for their own learning and respond accordingly.

I also teach French, so I teach the same students for two to five years.

This year was an exceedingly rough year.  The other French teacher resigned in August.  The teacher we hired to replace him quit after the first day.  After that, I dealt with a succession of substitutes.  Luckily, the two classrooms were right next door to each other.  This situation really high-lighted for me the importance of teaching procedures. 

In my upper level classes, the students know what the class procedures were from previous years with me and would follow through regardless of where I was. 

In the lower levels, because I was spread between two classrooms, I did not do an effective job of teaching procedures and things did not flow as smoothly.  My students were intelligent and good hearted, so most of them eventually figured out from what I did say and do, how I wanted things done – but not having that time to clearly lay out and practice my procedures really threw off my year.  For example, I had many more problems with students being in dress code and having their ID’s on – than previously.  I also had to remind them to put up cell phones and to start on their work = all because I didn’t properly teach them my procedures at the beginning of the year.

Next year, first of all, I really hope I will not be juggling two full loads!  Secondly, I want to do a clear job of teaching and practicing my procedures.  I also want to add one I observed with another teacher – greeting the students at the door, and checking for dress code and ID’s BEFORE they enter the classroom – so simple and so effective!

From my reading, I plan to also let them know what they can expect of me – in actual words, not just through my reputation and my actions – I think this will help things meld and start to flow more quickly in my classroom.


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Karen Tymniak
   "On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur."

   "One only sees well with the heart."
        Antoine de Saint-Exupery
tmcham

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Reply with quote  #8 
I have taught a self-contained Special Education classroom for the past 4 years and will be going to a 4th grade ELAR/Writing classroom this next year.  In my self-contained classroom, I started the year greeting the students as they entered the room and spent 1-2 weeks on classroom rules/expectations/schedules/policies/procedures.  In this environment, until these areas are clear and being followed, we don't get much instruction completed.  My students knew I was glad they were there and that my room was a fun, safe place for them to come into.

I know that I have to have these same expectations in place from the first day but I also know that I have to start instruction while continuing to teach classroom/school expectations.  I want my room to be a positive, inviting place where the students are eager to come to each day.  I want to help the students to know, from the first day, how great Reading and Writing can be and be very prepared with instruction and activities that engage the students from the first time they walk in my room (as well as every day the rest of the school year).  I want to also help each student feel welcomed by me every morning that they enter the room so that they know they are important to me and I am glad they are there.  I need to convey to them that I have high expectations from them so that they will, hopefully, rise to those expectations.

There were times I fell down on the job of greeting my students every morning and I hope to make sure I keep that a priority throughout the school year.  I know I have a lot to learn in this new classroom so I hope to spend the year working to ensure that every day I am giving all that I can to these students by being prepared each time they walk in the classroom.  When I am well prepared for the day, the learning opportunities are enhanced so much more than when I am not as prepared.  

I also want to get to know the other 4th grade teachers well so that we are a team that ensures the students are getting the best experience they can throughout the school year.
22209

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Reply with quote  #9 
My expectations as far as what my students could expect from me didn't really change last year from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. I feel like it would have been helpful if I communicated those expectations, however. We went over what I expected of the students at the beginning of the school year (they helped create our class rules/expectations), but I never explicitly told them what they should expect from me. This is something I will change next year.

My students could expect me to greet them at the door each day with a classroom ready and setup for learning, for me to create a positive learning environment for them, quality instruction with differentiated activities, promotion of mutual respect between teacher and student, help when needed, and necessary discipline with positive reinforcement. 

I'm not sure what else I will change at the beginning of next year. It's hard to know at the very beginning what needs your students will have because each class can be so different! I will try to excel in each area I consider an "expectation" of myself as a teacher and maintain that excellence. I feel like it is so easy as the school year progresses and students become more comfortable with you, your expectations, and the routines/procedures...to be more lax as a teacher. To not necessarily "fail" in an area of expectation, but to not do as well as I can. For instance, I would wait till the students started coming in to quickly dash over and put out their nametags, or I'd wait till the last minute to cut out an activity when I should have done it ahead of time. I could have extended instruction and provided more differentiation, but instead I let them read books when finished, or I tended to not be a positive and fresh as I was at the beginning of the school year. So overall, maintaining excellence is an area I strive to be better in next year!
OnaBethDay

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Reply with quote  #10 
Start with procedures, but make it FUN!
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Ona Beth Day 
ehowe

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Reply with quote  #11 

I have, for the past several years, spent the first couple of weeks teaching procedures to my students, as suggested in the reading.  I teach four year olds, and find that it is imperative to model, practice, and reinforce every procedure I expect my students to carry out.  The result is a very independent class that can easily manage itself, and always knows what to expect.  I think the most important thing my students expect from me is consistency.  They know I will be greeting them, and their parents, at the door each day, and they feel safe and secure in staying at school.  This also boosts parents' confidence in leaving their child with me.  After reading this section, I am contemplating sending home an outline of our morning and dismissal procedures for parents on the first day instead of only teaching the children what to do.
cbryant

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Reply with quote  #12 
I am a first year teacher in a kindergarten classroom.  I wanted my students to feel my warm and caring nature therefore, I always greeted them at the door with a hug. My student expected to see my smiling face welcoming them into class at the start of every day.  I  planned several activities to keep my students busy, but I know now that I should have been introducing my procedures and expectations. I'm excited for the upcoming school year and I feel I will have a handle on my classroom by introducing the procedures and modeling what is expected. 
msusong

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Reply with quote  #13 
Wow!

Thanks so much for all of the thought you have put into your responses so far...love reading your reflections. 

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Maggie Susong
ATPE Member Engagement Coordinator
jgoedken123

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thinking back on last year, what could my students expect from me?  To be treated fairly.  As far as behavioral expectations, what I expect from one student, I expect from all.  I teach at a behavioral school, so I feel this is very important.  Looking back on page 18, this is what I wanted from day 1.  Unfortunately, I realize as individual teachers, we each have individual expectations.  Some of our expectations supercede district policy - like "no electronics/music".  This can impact behaviors in my classroom.  Letting my students understand my policies and district policies are is very important.  Next year I will be sure that both sets of expectations are clearly posted in my classroom.
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Jennifer Goedken
sdcatoe

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Reply with quote  #15 

Looking back at last year, I would make a few changes.  We started with getting to know the student activities and went over some procedures beginning on the 3rd day.  Normally, our first several days are filled with students changing classes as well as adjusting the course load.  This next year I would like to start procedures sooner as well as what students can expect from us as teachers.  My students normally know that our door is always open, but I will make more of a effort to vocalize it. 

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StephC.
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