How Did You Do That?

Over the last couple of weeks, I have repeatedly heard from a colleague that is new to my team and to my school,  that my class is so nice and it is her favorite time of day when she gets to come in and teach my students. But then she asks me, “How’d you do that?”

My answer truly is “I don’t know”. Maybe it has to do with the trust I have built with my students over the last year (this is my second year with this group of students) but I can’t pin point how I built that trust.

Some things we have done together as a teacher and student learning community include…

My students and I have co-created our classroom’s Essential Agreements each year to reflect the changing needs of our classroom and the maturity of my students. When I notice an issue, I ask my students for their input. I present the issue I am frustrated with and ask my students what we can do to address it!

It could have something to do with the fact that although I am strict and have high expectations, I am not of the philosophy that teachers should not smile until Christmas (although, I did receive this advice in my first year of teaching!!) I enjoy joking with my kids and having fun while we are learning.  Isn’t that what teaching is all about?

To pin point one specific thing that I have done that has given me this utopian class, I am unable to do so. I do know that everyday I walk into my classroom and face my students, that I am meant to be here. This will be a tough group to let go of especially half way through the school year when I go on maternity leave but I hope that I have instilled in them that I care about them and that all I want is for them to be successful!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. carolyncameron
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 13:11:48

    Loved reading this post,Jessie. I have to agree with your colleague who enjoys coming into your class – I have felt that way whenever I get the chance to visit your room – there is a feeling of connectedness and mutual respect. This is no accident, Jessie…you have created this by making your class a place where questions are welcomed, where it is safe to say “I don’t know but we’ll figure this out together” and you have shared the real you with your students. You have also included them in the process of making decisions about how you will all learn and grow together by co-creating your essential agreements with them…kids feel so valued when they get to contribute to decisions that affect them and their learning. I don’t even want to think about you leaving us part-way through this school year…it’s still a long way off…right???!!!!


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