“SPEAK LIFE” Into Your New Class List When Other Teachers Share Negative Things About Some of Your Students!
With the first day of school approaching fast, or for some of you the first month of school has already begun. There is tons and tons to do the first month of school.
Going shopping and spending tons of money on new books for your classroom.
Organizing the classroom library so that all students see themselves and others - whether that's the characters inside the books or the authors who wrote them.
Putting up posters/anchor charts.
Labeling bins, lockers, tables, desks, supplies, and other materials.
Deciding on a theme and decking out your classroom with it.
Figuring out what lessons you are going to do the first week of school.
Deciding how you’re going to launch reading & writing workshop.
Choosing what routines & expectations you want to set this year
But along with all the PHYSICAL stuff we’ve got to get done, there’s also the EMOTIONAL side of us that often takes a back seat before school starts and during the first month of school.
One feeling that often shows up before school begins is “the feeling this year will be an uphill battle with one or more of your students based on what other teachers have said.”
You were given your class roster and you ask the previous grade level teachers about your students because you want to know as much as possible about each one before school begins. You can learn a great deal about your students this way.
But sometimes the conversation starts going in a very negative direction about some of your students. You might hear something like:
Last year, this student was in the principals like every other day.
Last year, this student never got his work done.
Last year, this student showed some violent behavior with school property toward his friends at recess.
Last year, this student got a referral or disciplinary action every week.
Then that teacher starts making predictions about how these students are going to do this year with you. You might hear something like:
Watch out when you turn your back on this student, because he would always leave the classroom with me; so he will probably do that with you.
These students were below grade level last year, and it will be next to impossible for you to get to grade level by the end of the year. So don’t beat yourself up too much about it.
This student will probably not get any work unless you stay right by their side. So good luck trying to meet with other students.
I want to SPEAK LIFE into YOU if you are feeling like this year will be an uphill battle because of certain students and what other teachers have said about them. What am I about to say to you...is what all our Unstoppable Literacy Club teachers will receive on a daily basis from me.
So the next time you start feeling this way about any of your students, I want you to say this, or write down what I’m about to say so that you can read to yourself at school.
This school year, ALL my students will begin with a FRESH start with me. Other teachers or staff members have seen my class roster and have warned me about some particular students. I’m not going to allow these negative comments about my wonderful students to taint my perception before I even meet them or really get to know them.
Now name the student and what the other teacher said about them; and reverse to a positive statement. Here’s an example:
I’m going to use my son’s name as the student.
Daijon never got his work done last year. I don’t accept that. Daijon will get his work done this year.
Daijon was in the principal’s office every other day. I don’t accept that. Daijon will not be in the principal’s office every other day. He will be in my classroom learning and growing.
Daijon would leave the classroom when his teacher’s back was turned. I don’t accept that. Daijon will not leave the classroom when my back is turned. Instead he will stay in the classroom engaged and actively participating in the lesson and putting his best into his work.
I know there is so much physical stuff to get done before school begins or during the first month of school. But please remember to not forget about your emotional side to your profession and take care of that too.
Your new students will amaze and surprise you this year,