We Were Meant to be Teachers!

Classroom Management Strategies and other Teacher Worthy Ideas

The Transformers, the Pact, and the Restart your Engine

I know that quite a few of my readers are really looking forward to Spring Break, especially if you’re a teacher!  So, I thought I’d just share some encouraging thoughts that my mentor has accumulated for me over the years.  Of course, he forgot to record the books or the authors of these thoughts.  For that mistake, I apologize.

“The Transformers” – A teacher needs to be flexible, stern and loving about following classroom rules, and then willing to move quickly to a “group smile” after a correction is made.  A group smile?  Perhaps like trying to stand on one finger or being able to lift the world (globe) above his/her head?  Me? I would just make this weird noise which the children would imitate and then we’d move on.   That weird noise works in elementary school, believe me.

“The Pact” – Since the Bonding is not always possible, another overture that is a big help is “the pact.”  Most 3rd grade students have never heard of this word and find it an interesting process.  The teacher agrees to help the student learn as much as possible and the student agrees not just to “do” the homework but to learn something from the homework.  At the bottom of the homework assignment, the student writes what they learned and how they can use it in their life. They can even be rewarded with a sticker, something from the prize jar, playing outside for 5″ longer during recess, taking home a lollipop, being asked to share their application with their classmates, etc.  I love this idea and wish I had thought of it during my last years of teaching.

“Restart Your Engines” – No, I’m not talking about NASCAR!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve not been able to communicate my objective lesson with my class over my 40 years of teaching.  Maybe once a month?  Whenever, I’d see those “glassy eyes” looking at me, I began to just say something out loud like:  “Okay, Mrs. Dorsey, turn around, and start over because your friends are obviously not “getting it.””  I would stop, jump around, turn around, and say in a squeaky voice and with a huge smile on my face, “HI!  Let’s try it another way!”  I’d even ask my students who did understand the concept, to explain it to those who didn’t.  It worked!  Another suggestion?  Have a wooden box handy, take out a piece of paper that says, “Re-start,” show the paper, then go on.

What do you do when you know you’re not getting through?




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