As I have been prepping the room for the new school year I have been reflecting quite a bit on the last school year. My list of improvements is quite long (I will attach it to the bottom of this post). As a first year teacher I think I did the best that I could, given the circumstances and the fact that it was my first year. I think back to the advice I was given and think, “Man, if I only knew then what I know now the year would have gone completely different.” I guess most teachers probably think that after their first year though.
This year much of my focus the first couple of weeks will be setting up routines and expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I did this last year- just not the way it probably should have been done. I realize now that I was too general when setting up expectations. This year I will be very specific and give demonstrations for everything. My hope is that after the first few days students will have no doubt about what is expected of them.
Since I will continue to be the team leader for third grade I have opted out of co-teaching this year. I think I had too much going on last year with it being my first year teaching. There were a few times that I felt like I was barely staying above water. I am hopeful that this year will be better since I will not have as much on my plate.
Many of the teams have changed this year, mine included. I am hopeful that this year the third grade team will be more cohesive and collaborative. I think if everyone does their part we will be one fierce team.
As far as classroom management goes I think I am going to try using ClassDojo. I have heard a lot about it from various blogs and I think it could be a great motivator for my students. ClassDojo is a program that helps teachers improve behavior in their classroom. It is meant to reinforce good behavior by students receiving award feedback points for behavior in the class. It also captures and generates data on behavior that teachers can share with parents and administrators. Students and parents get their own accounts and they are able to check on their behavior. Students and parents are not able to see peers so it stays confidential. As a teacher I can display the class information as a whole, which will hopefully motivate students to turn their behavior around.
What are some things that you do for classroom management? What are some things that you want to improve on this year?