Many times the things we do in a classroom at the start of the year to establish our classroom environment should be repeated at intervals throughout year. All those “get-to-know-you” activities and classroom spirit activities usually are done and gone by the second week of school. By the end of the first week we assume that everyone knows everyone, each kid is comfortable in the space we have provided, and why would we need one more “get to know your neighbor” activity.
Several years ago I had a student teacher start in the middle of the year. I told her to treat her first week at the end of January just like it would be her first week in September. Wow…doing a “get-to-know-you” activity in the middle of the year had so much more power than forcing one upon the kids the first couple days of school. It was fabulous, and resulted in a much tighter knit community in my room. I have tried to keep up the tradition ever since. Some things are worth repeating.
Way back in August Terry Shay wrote a post with some inspirational quotes to read to get his readers motivated for the start of a new school year. I just happened to bump into the post again. After reading it, I thought not only is this applicable to the beginning of the year, but the quotes in the post are also worth remembering at the half-way point. Some posts are worth repeating.
I love a good motivational quote…. I thought it would be good to start the school year with some I have stumbled on that made me think!
This is the time of year when school begins. . . and my thoughts turn to some very special people. The teachers who were such an important part of my life. I think of the way their special attention helped open the gates of learning. They gave so much of themselves. . . with patience and tenderness. And not all the knowledge was of the textbook variety. I also learned about life. Those caring teachers helped me blossom as an individual. . . and gave me a sense of self-worth that. . . even today. . . sees me through trying times. I can’t imagine a more precious gift that one individual can give to another.”
“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”
— Jim Henson (It’s Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider)
“A teacher’s constant task is to take a roomful of live wires and see to it that they’re grounded.” E.C. Mckenzie
“A college degree and a teaching certificate define a person as a teacher, but it takes hard work and dedication to be one.” Paul McClure
“I was at a meeting recently when a colleague told a story of being in India, where an educator there asked her, somewhat skeptically, “In America, you test your students a lot, don’t you?” She replied, “Well, indeed, the United States has a national policy that requires testing of all students in certain grades.” The Indian educator said, “Here, when we want the elephant to grow, we feed the elephant. We don’t weigh the elephant.”