Thursday, December 15, 2011

I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day when...

I shouted at my students. (I believe it is no coincidence that I have since lost my voice!)

This week in grade two we wrote journals in the fashion of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Why? Well, because I lost my super-patient teacher-ness and used a crazy loud voice to get everyone’s attention one day. I looked up from helping a student during center time, and not one person was doing what was asked. Not an excuse and not okay, I know. I am still embarrassed! So the next day, I read the famous story and then I apologized to my class. I told them that grown-ups have bad days sometimes, just like kids, and that we make mistakes, too. As soon as I said, “I’m so sorry I shouted at you - I know I was not being a great teacher yesterday,” I could see some of my students shift in their seats, sit up a little higher and give me that very cute seven-year-old “it’s okay” face. We wrote journals to share moments in our lives that upset us, that we are sorry for, or just to rant about a day that was not good. I have since been called a “heart and soul teacher,” which is something I need to keep an eye on because I don’t want to let them get under my skin like that again!

Despite all of this, I do feel as if behaviour is improving. I'm fairly certain I will use the clip chart system from this point on in my teaching career. In fact, I can’t even remember what I was doing before to help manage my class, but I had SO MANY students on “Amazing” today that I couldn’t have been happier! AND, it was the last day before the winter break - you know, the day we all anticipate as “the crazy day.” To encourage my students, I decided that after the break I will give a little something extra to those that are consistently Amazing. Right now, when one has five days at Amazing, I glue a little sparkle jewel onto his or her clothespin. Now, when there are five jewels, that student will get a scratch card! It’s one of those ideas I picked up in the summer, stored, and forgot about.  I got this one from Jeff’s sister, Shannon, who is the Style Editor at Canadian Family. For Mother’s Day the magazine featured a really awesome (and so easy!) craft called “Mommy Scratch Lotto Tickets”, that I adapted for the classroom. (Click the link for the so-simple instructions.) I think the class will be psyched to see the first student scratch one and win the pleasure of inviting a friend from another class over for lunch or using my big, comfy computer chair for the day! These are my works in progress: 

Lastly, thank you to Grade Onderful for this great measurement printable

I used it with my students as a fun last-day activity and a mini intro to measurement, which we will begin after the break. It was lots of fun and the whole class was really into it! I think I will even use it again at a Math center in January (it will be more manageable and the students will *I hope* see the point in context to our new unit). As I walked to the staff room to laminate my gingerbread cookies, I snapped this great photo. The sun always looks so magnificent as it comes up near our school.

Off to Sri Lanka tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited! Look out for a barrage of new photos in January!


  1. I love that you are the caring type of teacher that actually cares if you have upset your students, what a lovely come back from a freak 'snap' of frustration. Good job!