Monday, August 26, 2013

Routines and Procedures

I am officially done with the first week of my second year of teaching -- what a great feeling!  It amazed me how I felt 500% better going into this year than last.  Being at the same school, working with many of the same people, knowing several of the families and students at my school, and being familiar with all the school policies, rules, and procedures really helped me start the school year off with confidence!  In addition, I am teaching most of the same classes as last year and therefore have a working knowledge of the coursework.  I even had time to make curriculum maps to align with common core over the summer (something I did not have last year).  I can enthusiastically say I am very happy to be done with my first year of teaching and onto my second!

The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher [Book]While reading and discussing Mrs. K’s last post with her, the book The First Days of School by Harry and Rosemary Wong came to mind.  If you have not read this book, I highly suggest it!  I had the opportunity to see the Wongs speak as well, and I can honestly say the knowledge I gained from them has been more useful in my teaching than information from any other source!  The book goes through setting up rules, procedures, classroom management, positive expectations and everything else a teacher needs to start off the year on a positive note.

I looked back through The First Days of School before I started this year just to make sure I did not forget anything.  Mrs. K’s post talked about setting up procedures and routines in the first days of school, and I find this just as important as she does.  Because I work at a private K-8 school, I have many of the same students I had last year (only three students are new to the school at my grade levels).  This factor makes it difficult to set up any new-to-the-students routines and procedures or change any of my existing ones.  It may take a couple weeks, but after practicing and reviewing the new procedures I know my students will get the hang of them -- middle school students are very adaptable!  Here is a list of the routines I will continue and the routines I want to change or refine:

Routines I have:
  • Becoming quiet
  • Checking Homework
  • Lining up before class
  • Where to find the assignment
  • What to do if there was an emergency or some type of drill
  • What to do if a student was absent

Routines I want to change or refine:
  • Asking to go to the restroom
  • When to sharpen pencils
  • Starting class by entering quietly, writing down homework, and then working on the bell ringer
  • Leaving Class/at the end of the day

What routines or procedures have you tweaked over the years to improve your classroom culture?

Ms. H

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