Are pirates ever late? Because this one is! My goal was to have this post ready to go by this morning. But here it is, 5:30 pm and I am just now typing it up. Having house guests and a 2nd birthday party has done me in! And I am drained... but I am going to give you my quick 2cents (or maybe 20 cents) on this chapter and send you on to our hostess with the mostest. (Yep- I am exhausted friends.. don't mind the quirkiness.)
Chapter 3 is all about rapport. One of the things I highlighted really stands out for me. Dave says "...one of the big secrets and shortcuts to engagement is to spend less time trying to get students interested in what you are presenting and more time making connections between what you are presenting and what they are already interested in." Well duh right?! But really, how many times are we teachers sitting around thinking, gosh I WISH I could get these kids more engaged... and then spending countless hours coming up with "engaging" activities. When all it really takes is to use what they are interested in, in your lessons.
How do you know what they are interested in? You build a relationship with them and their parents. And you have instant material. One student "R" struggled with reading. Bad. How did I get him interested in reading... bought every footbal book I came across and yes, I even typed out some paragraphs on his favorite player. And- in one of those paragraphs, the words were tough. Tough enough that most of my 3rd graders would have struggled. And he did. But- he didn't give up. He fought through because he wanted to finish. He wanted to read it. And. I was proud.
Another favorite line from the chapter is "Building rapport is all about interacting with your students as fellow human beings, not just as subordinates." This year, I had the BEST class ever. I mean it. I loved them more than I ever thought I would love a class (and I will honestly be sad to walk into my class in August and not have their faces looking back at me). I truly believe that is because we really worked hard to ALL get to know each other. I know J loves fashion and her mom was having a baby. I know R was really proud of his dog and his mom too was having a baby. I know R and J both loved to play school at home. H knew I loved Disney and she was sure to share stories of her vacation there when she returned. I could go on and on, but what it comes down is that my kids knew that I was not only a teacher, but I was someone they could talk to. (And talk they did... sometimes too much, but not in a bad way.) And I loved that about my bunch of kids. I was in a car accident and the first thing they said to me when I got back was "Are you ok? Was Payton in the car?" because they genuinely cared about me (and each other as well).
Dave has some amazing first 3 days plans in this chapter... and I sure want to be able to do something similar this year. But I won't go into anymore detail... you can join in the discussion by checking out Jana's blog (where she has some really cute ideas for back to school building rapport)
And as always...