Huge Beatles fan here. Always have been. As I think about teaching in February, and February in general, the word most on my mind is LOVE. No surprise there. It's almost trite to say what word reminds you most of February? Love of course! This is the month of love - chocolates for your sweetie, cute and fresh valentines for your students, maybe a romantic dinner this year since February 14 falls on a weekend.
The word love always reminds me of my students as well as my precious hubby, daughters, sons-in-love, and grandkids. Students' sweet little faces from years long past, their grownup selves who have invited me back into their lives through the magic of Facebook, and the most recent ones who I run into regularly at the gym, the supermarket, the drugstore, and the hairdresser. And the ones I see weekly in the bullyproof club I run at lunch time and after school at my neighborhood Elementary and Upper Elementary. LOVE! Love them all!
I really think love is a magical word and if you really feel it when you look at your students, its magical effects will be life-changing. Want to love your job again, and pull it out of the winter doldrums? Love your kids. Stand back, really look at them, and find something to love. There is something lovable in each one. Fake it till you make it if you really think there's nothing to love.
I was planning to continue rambling on here in another of my way too long blog posts when I realized that my boys John, Paul, George, and Ringo have already said it all. As a teacher, those lyrics ring so true for the classroom as well as for life.
"There's nothing you can do that can't be done
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
Thanks boys! My interpretation: love makes all things possible. A person who is loved feels really good about himself/herself and has confidence in all they try to do. A student who feels loved will "get with the culture" of your class and be higher-performing and better-behaved.
Idea #1: Start with a compliment. Greet each student before class with a quick compliment. "You look amazing today!" "Love your smile!" "That orange shirt is perfect for you!" "I love those shoes! Do they come in my size?"
Make complimenting each other part of your classroom culture. Try some compliment cards or just make complimenting each other at least a small part of each day. Make your kids feel loved and they will "learn how to play the game" of school the way you want them to play it.
Here's a freebie to get you started:
"There's nothing you can make that can't be made
No one you can save that can't be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn to be you in time
Thanks again lads! It IS easy! Make something together! Add some hands on to your lessons! If you're already a hands on teacher, add some personal choice to it. It is never too late in the year to switch up your routine and surprise your kids with some fun-while-learning activities.
And, it truly is never too late in the year to save an unruly, disrespectful class, and turn it into the class of your dreams. You have had the power all along my dear! You are totally in charge of the culture that will be built in your classroom. No state or federal guidelines for that. You are in charge here!
Visit Rainbow City Learning on TpT for lots of hands on ideas to make learning fun!
Never say "can't". If it seems like a good idea to you, try it! Have some fun together and build the idea that learning together is fun into your culture. It's easy.
"There's nothing you can know that isn't known
Nothing you can see that isn't shown
There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be
The answer for classroom harmony in February and beyond is right in front of you. Step back and take a look. Find something to love in your classroom community and build from there. You are exactly where you're meant to be! And your students are so lucky to have you!
Love yourself, love your students, and have the best February ever teachers! Did I ever tell you that I love your smile? I do!
For more February Teacher Talk, please stop by and visit my amazing blogging friends! I love them too!