On December 31st, I shared five resolutions I planned to make for new year. I was motivated and determined to make them happen. Here is an update on how I am doing.
1. Promote independent reading even more, especially with my reluctant readers. Since coming back to school on January 5th, I have done at least one book talk every day except the two days of midterms. I have seen amazing results! Reluctant readers who never want to admit they could, or would, enjoy a book were shooting their hands up in the air to get the book I just finished talking about. Students that took 2-3 weeks on one book are now finishing one book per week. When I asked two of them why–on separate occasions–both said that they have so many more books they want to read because of the ones I have shared with their classes. Their to-be-read lists are growing. Book talks really do work!
2. Two-minute conversations with my “reluctant students.” This resolution has been a bit more difficult. I had two students in mind for this, and one of them has been out of school since before Christmas (first with the flu, then in the hospital after a terrible fall). That doesn’t mean I have given up though. I signed a “get well soon” card for him and let him know I have been thinking of him. I put together work for him. I spoke to his mother over the phone and told her to email me if he has any questions. I know I may not have had an actual conversation with this particular student, but hopefully he sees all my effort. With the other student, she has missed significant class time as well. I have found her three times over the past two weeks to have a one-on-one conversation with her. I plan to have a much longer one next week when she comes into my class to finish her midterm. I spoke to our LINC teacher about letting her come to my classroom more after school. I know she avoids my class, for she struggles with reading and writing. However, nothing will improve without effort, and I don’t plan to be the only one trying.
3. Increase the positives! Though I have started this, I need to speed it up because it is almost the end of January already. I have contacted three parents in two weeks about their children’s accomplishments, but I need to aim for at least two per week, if not more. A sticky note is attached to my computer with “one child per day” written on it. I can do that! 10 minutes is all it takes!
4. Get assignments back to students in a timely manner. I have been so much better about this, though I will admit there has not been a ton to hand back. I will continue to use my planning periods wisely, even with grading!
5. I need to stay positive! Staying positive has been quite easy lately, and this poster is part of the reason:
A few students came into my room yesterday to tell me to go to the faculty lounge. I was curious, so I went down. Talk about making a teacher’s day! I’m printing this picture out and hanging it up in my room. It’s great motivation! I have also stayed positive and motivated because of the kindness of other teachers I am close with at school. You know who you are. THANK YOU!