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Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Teaching Week Focus: Peaceful Systems

A high-reaching #satchat brought me to all kinds of great big ideas, ideas I shared with colleagues and put on the calendar to plan for and work towards.

In the meantime, I'll keep my focus on the week-to-week targets. Two weeks ago I focused my attention on at-risk students with colleagues. This past week I looked at deep teaching which led me to this week's and next week's goal: Peaceful Systems.

We're rolling along with the curriculum and community. We know each other well by this time, and now it's time for a bit more finesse when it comes to systems.

For my part, I need to change the routines a bit less often. I typically welcome change, but not all students like change as much as I do so I'll add a bit more repetition to the schedule to provide a greater routine for those who desire that.

It's also time for another class meeting so we can shore up some of the holes in our classroom structure, holes such as efficient clean-up (getting everyone to pitch in), peaceful transitions, and respectful hall behavior. The students will have the answers as they always do since they've had lots of different teachers, and when I pose these areas for finesse, they'll share lots of strategies that were successful in other classrooms during their tenure at our school.

I'll also lead a discussion related to our typical weekly routine. I'll ask students to comment on what's working and what is not working. Again, I know they'll bring insight to the discussion and together we'll finesse the schedule as well to accommodate everyone in positive ways.

When the classroom is peaceful, everyone is happier, and when everyone is happier, everyone learns more. We've got a vibrant, dynamic learning community. We've done a lot of great projects and learned to work with each other well. Now it's time to lift the quality of what we do to an even higher level--we're ready for that.