I've really enjoyed this book and I'm pretty sure it will be one that I end of reading over and over every summer!
Part 3: Creating the Right Culture and Climate
I actually disagree with some of Mr. Clark's points.... (gasp!)
Point 39 (page 172)- Open your doors to the parents.
I love having parent help and volunteers, but in the district where I work parents really run the district. I am constantly questioned about EV-ER-Y-THING. Unfortunately, this makes me really really not want parent help. Terrible right? In this point RC says there is one day in his school where parents can spend the whole day in the classroom. I can't imagine. And, granted, his students aren't first graders, but many of my students don't behave very well when their parents are around.
Point 40-(page 173) dress the part! Attire matters
Yes, it's important to dress professionally. I try my best to look nice every day. But I have to tell you when I can where jeans and a cute sweater I feel so much more comfortable. Again, I have first graders so it's a bit different. At the last school I worked at we were allowed to wear jeans at any time. My principal felt that the job was difficult and if being in jeans made us more comfortable then ok!
Point 51- (page 194) Don't Constantly Stress About Test Scores
Absolutely! When I taught fourth and third grade I didn't talk about the state tests that often. Instead I focused on teaching my students. I constantly searched for new ways to teach what I needed to and reviewed items with my students. And when it came time for the test I was confident and told my students that they knew the information and to try their best. (This doesn't mean I wasn't saying a little prayer for a few of my students) So many students have test anxiety because they know how important the test is, but if you have done your job well then your students will perform well. We can't take the test for them! That all being said- it was important to me to give my students an idea of what test day would look like and what to expect on the test.
And my favorite point in this section is Point 91- (page 287) Allow teachers the freedom to make their rooms reflect their personalities- allow them to use color!
Any one else sick of the putty colored paint on their walls? My bulletin boards are bright colors, and I put colorful border wherever I can. At my last school I was given permission to paint my walls as long as I painted it back to beige if I ever left. I chose this lovely blue color and I painted a tree on one wall. My words for my word wall were on leaves so we had a word tree. It was AWESOME! We had old wooden bookshelves that we could paint so my room really reflected my personality. I wish so badly that districts would allow this more often! Now we are limited to "only use 20% of your wall space" and "no objects hung on doors." (If you saw my post earlier this week you can see that I haven't exactly followed that) No staples in the wall. This is my own personal beef since blue sticky tack doesn't work. How am I supposed to keep important things up without using staples? (I may use hot glue from time to time....shhhhhhh) I do try to make my desk show my personality. At least I can do that much. Pink is my favorite color and I have pink drawers, boxes, pens, etc. Plus lots of little owl trinkets and pictures of my family.
This book has been wonderful hasn't it?!