“When it’s foggy in the pulpit it’s cloudy in the pew.” Cavett Robert
“What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods?” our national weather man is likely to ask. Also, what’s the climate in your classroom? If you’re the teacher, I’d guarantee that it has something to do with your mood as well.
In my classroom, there are umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. Long before the movie, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, I was fond of the book. Since I taught science, I always wanted the students to expect something unusual. The idea that meatballs could fall from the sky seemed perfect for a classroom theme. Also, it gave a little color up high.
Now that I’ve moved from middle school to elementary, I still love to have my old students visit and comment on the umbrellas with a smile. Wherever our classroom has moved, and I’ve moved five times in seven years, those umbrellas are the first things I hang. Mystery and happiness are two of the things I like my students to remember about our class.
How can you, the teacher, keep your classroom climate cool and breezy? Here are some practical ideas I like to keep in mind as the new year starts.
Give the unexpected. Giving students a reason to want to come to school is one of the greatest gifts a teacher can give. I’ve been enjoying an old inspirational book about teaching called, Push Back the Desks. It’s fun to revisit these unexpected ways to learn.
Make learning fun. Much of learning can be done in a fun and creative way. Its preparation might take more effort on our part, but students respond to it with excitement.
Build excitement. In general, when teachers are excited, so are students. Giving students a glimpse of what’s coming up helps students want to come to school the next day. Building excitement also builds long-term memories.
Smile, it makes you look more professional. Not only does a smile make us look better, it also helps us feel more positive and look professional. Contrary to the statement we usually hear from teachers, we’d better start smiling before Christmas. Face it, only Scrooge’s relative bothered to bring him a present. Students respond better to a teacher who smiles.
I hope the weather in your room is cool and breezy. If not, maybe it’s time for a meatball shower!