Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Give Me an H!!

I have been super busy this week!  My niece is visiting for a few days, I'm trying to get a handle on my classroom, and I'm working part time and tutoring on the side.  Needless to say, I haven't had much time to catch up on blogging stuff.  (My Google Reader has over 700 unread posts!)  I am not complaining; I love to be busy!!

Anyway... my tutoring session for this evening was cancelled, so I thought I'd get in a really quick post.  I was going to write up a new Picture Book Post for a later date, but then I read this post by Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6, and as I was commenting there, I thought my comment would be a great post of my own!  Then I realized it was a Linky Party hosted by the ah-mazing Laura Candler, and I knew picture books could wait!
Click the picture to link up!
Two school years ago, I was coming off one of my worst professional years of my life.  It was the first time I was self -contained, I had almost 30 kids in my room, and most of the boys were extremely type A personalities.  In addition there was a LOT of bullying going on and nothing I said was getting through.

Anyway, that summer I really struggled with whether I was going to, or even should, continue teaching.  After a lot of soul searching, I came to the conclusion that everyone has a rough class; I couldn't let this one class define the rest of my career.

Fast forward to the beginning of one of the BEST years of my career!  I started the year with a new rule in place (and the reason for this post (finally!!)):  Give Me an H.

I had each student "Give me an H" before they left the classroom. They had a choice of "H:" handshake, high-five, or hug.  As they left the first few weeks of school, I stood by the door and initiated the H. After that, the students would search me out. One of them even went out of his way to Give me an H at the grocery store! :)

I told my class that this was my way of saying, "Even if we had a rotten day today, I still care about you and can't wait to see you again tomorrow."  I noticed a shift in the classroom that year, too.  By the end of September, they said goodbye or high-fived each other as they left - not just me!

I didn't do it last year for various reasons, but I am looking forward to implementing it again this year.


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