Sunday, July 6, 2014

July Blog Challenge Day 6: I'm a slacker...

I've been out of commission the last few days. I've been busy spending time with my sweet family and driving here and there. I knew it was important to set aside a few days to focus on my family.

I'm not incredibly sure what to write about so I'm just hop9ing to get some feedback on classroom practices that have really worked for you guys.

I won't lie..I am a people person who has never really had to deal with much confrontation. I love meeting people and making friends. When I began teaching, as most all of us deal with, I don't think I had any idea of how this personal quality of mine would be challenged. My first two years of teaching, I taught at an awesome school teaching seniors. I was only 22. I was intimidated, challenged, and changed. I loved my experience at Greenwood and am so blessed to have taught with so many incredible people and love and get to know so many amazing kids. However, it was tough! I was so used to getting along with people that it was a slap in the face when some of my kids challenged my authority or straight up didn't like me. What?! Someone doesn't like me. Who knew! (now it's funny because I understand that it's totally normal..but then, I felt inadequate.) I learned so much that first year. So so much. The second year was much better but still a struggle. I actually had a student steal my car keys (Which I thought I had lost) and took off with my 2 month old car a month later. (That's another post that I'll share if y'all want me to.) I mean, really. How many teachers can say they've had their car stolen by one of their students? I feel tough now. :) Now, I have taught the last two years at another incredible school where I actually went to high school at. L-O-V-E it. I love my kids so so much. All that to say, classroom management was a huge learning curve for me initially. I have come such a long way and I am proud of myself. Proud because I have worked so hard in this area and my character has changed so much through the process.

Now, I am looking for more strategies to employ to enhance the learning environment in my classroom.

What strategies do y'all use to create an incredibly organized, systematic learning environment?
What are ideas that I can use to create more structure in the day-to-day procedures?

I would LOVE your feedback. This is an area that I have grown in but know that I have so much to learn. I am not an organized individual at all. So, I have to be really intentional on classroom practices to ensure an effective learning environment. Please share! I love to pick people's brains!!

Y'all have an awesome night!


  1. I find that routines are good. Students like to know what is happening, and when you have classroom routines, they feel secure. You don't have to do the same thing each day, just have regular routines that are comfortable and familiar.

  2. Hi Brooke. I'm glad I found your blog, and I can't wait to share your ideas with our math team.

    My biggest "a-ha" as a teacher was figuring out the difference between procedures and classroom management, and now I have procedures for everything in my classroom. (Thank you, Harry Wong! I still read "The First Days of School," and I have taught a LONG time.) I agree with Teresa's comment above; you must establish regular routines to help the kids feel secure.

    My new find from a recent conference: create visuals and rubrics for class routines and procedures. I blogged about it here and I can't wait to add this tool to my "toolbox."

    Thanks again for sharing your ideas! (By the way, my parents are both from northwest-ish Arkansas, so I'm a fan of the Natural State.)

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement! Definitely can't wait to take a look at your blog. I have heard of that book but have never actually gotten my hands on it. I need to! Love that you are familiar with my home...such an awesome place! Keep in touch!

    2. You've got to get this book! It will be an awesome resource for you. I too have taught a LONG time and revisit Harry Wong at the beginning of every school year. You are doing a great job with your blog. I look forward to reading it during the school year!

  3. Hi Brooke, I have been re-reading "The First Days of School" since I work with new teachers, and it reminded me that the management strategy that has served me best over the years is proximity. When I am struggling to connect with a student, I usually move them up front and challenge myself to get to know them better. This almost always improves their behavior and engagement in my class.