I visited a classroom where all students were engaged in learning and using high-level skills. They arrived on time and participated both enthusiastically and actively. The bell rang, and I tailed six of the students to their next class. Amazingly, in second period, none of them could read and they didn't have time to walk from one class to another without being tardy.
One of my schools ran a semester SCORE class. First semester was marvelous. The students that joined second semester, however, in the words of their teacher, "were already jaded."
I struggled with discipline as a student teacher. My master teacher taught me about respect. Yes, I want the students to like me...but not at the expense of having them respect me. Respect pays dividends, and the liking will come. Liking without respect is a lose-lose way to teach.
So here we go...
Ode to Ridiculous Beginnings
Ode to all teachers who have learned how
To keep their students engaged in the "now."
They come in on time, and they're ready to learn.
They find class exciting and sometimes absurd.
Ode to beginnings that cause every class
To foster a school culture that celebrates en masse
They know from day one that it's good to succeed
And that they will be rewarded in word and in deed.
Ode to respect for all teachers and kids.
May each day find them challenged with knowledge and fizz.
May they know that their efforts will bring them true praise
And find themselves learning to conquer school's maze.
Ode to expectations ridiculously high.
Ode to achieve them and learn to ask why.
To creativity and energy that cause us to yearn
To do greater and better and ridiculously learn.
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