*jazz hands* New classroom!! *jazz hands*

Today was day three of seven “school launch” days for staff at my new high school here in Denver.  It’s been meeting after meeting, training, team building activities and orientation.  I barely had time to snap some photos in my new classroom.  I still have to find the optimal place with the best non-yellow lighting in the classroom, but as you can see, my new room is really stinkin nice.  Talk about an awesome science classroom – there is a dedicated instruction section and separate lab benches in the back.  It’s the nicest classroom I’ve ever seen AND, the students get ROCKING CHAIRS.  That’s right, rocking chairs. training day4Today’s training was on classroom management, aka 100% engagement (buzz word alert).  It was actually a nice refresher on methods I’d forgotten about such as various non-verbal cues, anonymous whole class corrections and private corrections.  It made me think about my classroom management style, which has evolved into a very stern, strict, I’m-not-playing-around-so-you-better-check-yourself type of management that some students find a bit rough around the edges and if I’m honest with myself, a bit jerky.  I don’t usually loosen up until second semester when the kids know the routine and know not to test me anymore (for the most part).  So my focus this year in terms of classroom management is, don’t be a jerk.  I need to breathe more, control my frustrations, stay calm, and utilize private corrections more.  One of the first things I taped up on my wall by my desk is my post card of a Barbara Kruger piece, “Don’t be a jerk”.  I love that little postcard – I picked it up at the Hirshhorn in Washington DC in 2012 and it’s been a classroom staple of mine.  This year, it has new meaning.  I used to point to it occasionally when kids were mean to each other, but this year, it’s for me.

Don't Be A Jerk

On the clothing end, it’s really nothing exciting.  I’m still on a basics kick and I’m in love with my summer sandals: the oh so trendy right now Birkenstocks.  B calls them “Jesus Sandals” or “big black boats” and I can’t really disagree with him.  I just got so obsessed with how cute I found then all of a sudden (just last summer I called them the ugliest things ever) when they started popping up all over my Feedly feed of fashion bloggers.  I’ve also retired my trusty Freitag bag for a while.  The plastic smell never really dissipates, and I was getting pretty tired of it.  So I dug out the old J.Crew purse from my SF teaching days.  Still holding up ok for now.  I do have my eye on the also uber trendy Fjallraven Kanken backpack though.  I’m such a sucker for hipster trends.  Sigh.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

glasses: warby parker beckett – cardigan and bag: super old j.crew – t-shirt: madewell – jeans: j brand via nordstrom rack – shoes: birkenstock

3 thoughts on “Don’t be a jerk

  1. I think all teachers need that “don’t be a jerk” reminder sometimes–especially when we are faced with jerky behavior from students. One of the benefits of letting go of the “mean teacher” personal we all developed in the beginning (Don’t smile till Christmas!) is that you will enjoy your job so much more. Teaching year four when I was being a hard ass? I like my job, but was frustrated daily. Year six when I decided to chill and trust that being kinder could help the whole classroom community? I LOVED my job and never went back to my old ways. And my management was never an issue. Surprisingly, students knew that there was a secret rage monster buried in my niceness and rarely pressed me… Eleven years of teaching and I am sold on making almost all of my decisions based on what is kindest….

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