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Showing posts with label self-esteem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self-esteem. Show all posts

Lessons From A Bus Driver

A long time ago, long before I started working where I am now, I substituted.
 
 
Lessons From a Bus Driver: Here's a little lesson I learned way back at the beginning of my teaching career that helped me understand something that was really important about teaching!
 
One day when I was subbing in a third grade classroom, I had a very interesting conversation with one of the children.

The classroom was situated right near the driveway, so the children could see the buses drive up at the end of the day.

Here was the conversation:

Boy: Yes!!! The good bus driver is back!
Me: That's great! What makes him such a good bus driver?
Boy: Well one day after I'd been out sick for a few days, when I came back, he asked me if I was feeling better.


I've thought about that conversation many times. 


Clearly, the boy liked that bus driver because the bus driver paid special attention to the boy. The bus driver showed an interest.

That's all it takes!




Since that day, I've made an extra effort to let the children know I am interested in what they do. I find ways to let them know I'm glad they came to school that day. I think it makes a difference to say things like: 

Lessons From a Bus Driver: Here's a little lesson I learned way back at the beginning of my teaching career that helped me understand something that was really important about teaching!

Lessons From a Bus Driver: Here's a little lesson I learned way back at the beginning of my teaching career that helped me understand something that was really important about teaching!

After an absence:
Lessons From a Bus Driver: Here's a little lesson I learned way back at the beginning of my teaching career that helped me understand something that was really important about teaching!

One of my favorites:
Lessons From a Bus Driver: Here's a little lesson I learned way back at the beginning of my teaching career that helped me understand something that was really important about teaching!

The more you make your students feel welcome, the more they will want to perform! 

No matter how I say it, I make sure I am there for my students, making sure they know they are an important member of my class, and give them each a special greeting as they enter my classroom each day!

What are your favorite greetings?



Lessons From a Bus Driver: Here's a little lesson I learned way back at the beginning of my teaching career that helped me understand something that was really important about teaching!


The Importance of Failure

Today's post is something to think about. 
It's not a cute strategy or a brilliant organizational idea. 
It's just a little something teachers and parents need to think about.
 
The Importance of Failure - It's a sticky subject, but failure is an important part of learning. See why!
 
Yes, that says failure, and it's an important part of learning!

Sometimes children just need to go beyond their comfort zone.
 
Sometimes, it's important for children to fail.

I know what you're thinking...

Isn't it easier to help them along, so they can succeed?
 
What about their self esteem? They'll have loads of failures through life, just like we have: disappointing grades, failed friendships, sports disappointments, college rejections, career failures, and the dreaded failed romance. People that they have loved will die. 
 
 Experiencing failure actually helps the children develop coping skills, resilience, and even creative thinking! 
 
By learning from their mistakes, they actually build self esteem! Knowing how to cope with little failures will help them cope with the bigger failures that come later in life.

I have a little story from my parenting experience that I share with parents of my students:

When my daughter was little, I took her ice skating. I'd always loved ice skating, so I'd hoped she'd be successful. She and I stepped out onto the ice holding hands, and we started to skate! She was doing great. There were a couple of times she started to lose her balance, but I was right there to help her, and she got back to skating right away.


After a while, I'll bet you can guess what happened... she stopped trying to stay up on her own.

Then I realized what I needed to do... I needed to let her fall. I let go of her hand and let her go on her own. (It wasn't easy to let go, but I knew it was necessary!)

She fell a few times. She was fine, of course, but that was when she really figured it all out. She started skating, and I learned a valuable lesson.

Kids need failure in order to learn. 


She never would have learned to skate if I kept catching her every time she fell.

Sometimes it's easier on us to do things for our children, like tie their shoes, pack their bags, or make their lunches. But just remember:
 
 
 
There are many famous people who have experienced various degrees of failure. Here are some people who brushed it off, then had great success: J.K. Rowling, Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, Albert Einstein, Mozart, and Walt Disney.

It's not so easy for us, but it's also not easy for the kids. Do you have children in your classroom who are afraid to answer questions because they fear being wrong?

Do you have children who are afraid to complete work because they're not sure they'll get the right answer?

Do you have students who cheat when they play games because they're afraid of losing?

We need to get these kids past that fear of failure!


How can we do that?


1. by making them feel safe.
2. by making them feel confident.
3. by praising their efforts.
4. by continuing to encourage them.
5. by being a role model: let them see you make mistakes and model appropriate ways to cope with failure.


The Importance of Failure - It's a sticky subject, but failure is an important part of learning. See why!

Yes, praise their efforts. I often thank my students for making mistakes.

It might sound like this: "Thanks for pointing that out. You just made us all smarter!"

One last story about my daughter:

She's a perfectionist, and takes pride in her good grades. When she was in 8th grade, she got a C in Algebra. My comment? "Good! Now you know you won't die."

Seriously, it relieved a lot of stress for her. And she turned out to be fine. Plus, it motivated her to work harder in Algebra, and she ended up on the Math Honor Society in High School!

There are loads of studies on the benefits of failure, and how it can be successful. 
 
Give it a google!

I have this poster hanging in my classroom. I refer to it often.

The Importance of Failure - It's a sticky subject, but failure is an important part of learning. See why!


If you look back on your life, can you think of a time where a failure motivated you?

Don't our children deserve that?


The Importance of Failure - It's a sticky subject, but failure is an important part of learning. See why!



Five Useful Tips and Tricks!

I've been teaching for 39 years. I've been teaching in my present school for 31 years. I've been teaching second grade for 17 years. You might say I've collected a few tricks up my sleeves!

Five Useful Tips and Tricks! These five tips are things that many teachers figured out for themselves, but now there's scientific evidence to back it up!

The more I read about studies on how the brain works, the more I realize that most teachers have figured these things out through experience. Now we just have the evidence to back it up!

Here are five things that I always keep in mind in the classroom:


Five Useful Tips and Tricks! These five tips are things that many teachers figured out for themselves, but now there's scientific evidence to back it up!
We all know that children can't sit still for very long! Brain research backs that up. The average attention span is the child's age, plus or minus two. That means that my second graders shouldn't be expected to pay attention to anything longer than 7 minutes! They need brain breaks to break up those sessions. Plus movement aids learning (use gestures for the kids to mirror!) and helps get oxygen to the brain. 

Five Useful Tips and Tricks! These five tips are things that many teachers figured out for themselves, but now there's scientific evidence to back it up!

The human brain is social. Kids need to interact! Talking keeps the children engaged and helps them sort out their thinking. Check out this guest post I did on Minds in Bloom called Keep Your Students Engaged With "Turn and Talk."  for more information and ideas on getting the kids talking.

Five Useful Tips and Tricks! These five tips are things that many teachers figured out for themselves, but now there's scientific evidence to back it up!

In fact, integrating all the arts will help with learning. Did you know that music boosts brain organization? It affects our moods and emotions. Playing music in the classroom really makes a difference. Different kinds of music work at different times. Playing slow, classical music helps kids focus and concentrate. Fun, upbeat music helps them find energy during those sleepy times of day (after lunch?) or just plain makes the kids feel good. Putting important information to a familiar tune helps them remember things. There is no end to the possibilities of music in the classroom. 

Five Useful Tips and Tricks! These five tips are things that many teachers figured out for themselves, but now there's scientific evidence to back it up!


Yes, you heard that correctly. Actually, experts tell us that false praise is actually harmful to the children. It's best NOT to tell children how smart or clever they are. However, honest feedback is essential for the children to grow. Instead of "you're so smart," tell them "You're getting better about remembering your math facts". Specific, honest praise is far more meaningful. It's ok to tell them they need to work at something. In fact, when they do work at that thing, and show improvement, that's when the self esteem builds! If you're familiar with Whole Brain Teaching, this is where the Super Improvers Wall comes in! (Sorry about the blurry picture, I'll try to get a better one when I'm done putting up this year's wall!)  

Five Useful Tips and Tricks! These five tips are things that many teachers figured out for themselves, but now there's scientific evidence to back it up!


Five Useful Tips and Tricks! These five tips are things that many teachers figured out for themselves, but now there's scientific evidence to back it up!

I suspect you already know the importance of a sense of humor in the classroom to survive as a teacher. Well, it's important for the kids, too. Learning and memory are very much related to emotions and having fun! I try to keep the jokes as much as I can, and include many games in my teaching. Making it fun means more learning will happen. (Plus, the memory needs repetition, and games keep that repetition from becoming boring!)

Links to other posts that have more information these sort of tips:





Five Useful Tips and Tricks! These five tips are things that many teachers figured out for themselves, but now there's scientific evidence to back it up!

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