T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #80
This week, my school year officially began with the annual staff retreat. Our main goal this year is to assist our students in developing their habits of scholarship, particularly in areas such as curiosity, craftsmanship, and grit.
Although it's hard to say goodbye to summer, I felt great planning with committed colleagues to establish a shared vision for our students.
Hopefully, our efforts will result in a positive shift in habits.
Have a great weekend!
In today’s newsletter…
- Positive student-teacher relationships impact classroom culture
- Strategies for engaging introverted students
- Restorative justice practices improve academic achievement, mental health, and reduce suspension rates and disparities.
Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.
- Relationships - Building positive relationships with students in the first week of school can have a lasting impact on classroom culture. By taking the time to have individual conversations with students, teachers can make them feel valued and respected, and more willing to take risks in their education. These conversations and clear expectations along with proactive strategies can create an inclusive and safe classroom environment. Here are eight ways to build relationships with students to start the school year off right.
- All Voices - As a teacher, understanding how to engage introverted students is crucial, as often many classrooms can be noisy and overstimulating. Brett Vogelsinger, an English teacher, has developed a range of strategies to make space for introverted voices, including a discussion style where students use index cards to share their ideas. Vogelsinger also builds in opportunities for students to engage with ideas on their own, such as through online message boards, and encourages think time to help introverted students formulate their responses.
- Restoration and Resolution - Restorative justice practices in schools aim to build positive relationships and resolve conflicts through conversation and understanding, rather than punishment. Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland have been implementing restorative practices since 2019 and have added staff to help build and repair relationships among all members of the school community. While some parents and teachers have pushed back against the approach, research shows that restorative practices improve academic achievement and mental health, reduce suspension rates and disparities, and are most successful when all members of the school community are invested in the restorative culture. I would be interested in piloting restorative practices at my school, assuming there was ample training and staff. When it comes to these disciplinary practices, cutting corners can be a disaster.
- Teacher Planning Resource - Hybrid Bullet Journal Teacher Organization System: Combining Analog and Digital Tools for Efficient Teaching. This is how I try to keep my teaching life organized.
Personal Development and Wellness Resources
- Happy Life - Are you searching for the secrets to a lifetime of happiness? Author Tom Greene provides five key tips. The happiest people focus on faith, family, friendship, and work that serves others, plan to thrive before they die, delay gratification, embrace solitude, and invest in friendships. By following these secrets, you can create a fulfilling life full of meaningful experiences and positive memories.
- Write It Down - Handwriting notes may improve memory retention compared to typing. Researchers found that handwritten words led to better recall and recognition, even when the words were presented in alphabetical order. This study suggests that traditional paper-and-pen notes may be more effective than digital note-taking, particularly in educational settings.
- Solitude - Loneliness and solitude are not the same thing. Solitude is an opportunity for introspection and contemplation. Research shows that making time for solitude is linked to increased creativity. Some of my best ideas come during a solo hike or bicycle ride.
"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more" —Lord Byron
- Camping - If you are going to sneak in a camping trip before school starts you might appreciate these 15 camping tips that can make your experience more enjoyable.
- Backpacks - My old backpack of 10 years just died. I've decided to get this NORTH FACE Surge Commuter Laptop Backpack. It's the same pack my daughter has. It's great for adventures and school.
❤ Enjoy this Newsletter?