THINGS that Steal Our Attention

How often do we allow “THINGS” to take us away from our students, while sitting there in the middle of our classroom with them?
Earlier this evening I read a post by Stump the Teacher reminding me how I should “Be There” for my students.   He shared an experience with his own children – and how it brought reflection on his own classroom.  Here’s a link from the tweet:  
Be There: Stump the Teacher #edchat  Retweeted by @johntspencer

As I read his post, it made me smile, thinking back to student responses from earlier today…

I began the day with a simple index card survey…the last question being, “What do I do well as a teacher…that makes me effective?”

One response, “not sitting at your desk and you should keep doing this,” is something that makes me an effective teacher (huh? really?) and I should continue doing it?  I was a bit perplexed.  I asked my student to explain.  Simply said, I rarely sit at my desk-always up, walking around – they said to either answer their questions, point out a mistake, a pat on the back or keep them on task.  The student went on to say, that if I didn’t keep doing this, they would likely not work as hard, probably even try to sleep or talk and distract others sitting nearby.  Ok, that makes since now.

I guess I assumed that since this is how I and many of my colleagues teach – most everyone does the same…is this not so???

Another post from the same blog “Having Kids Made Me a Better Teacher,” – I couldn’t agree more.  Having a school-age child, it makes me angry to think there are teachers who are never focused on their students.   Those students sitting unengaged in those classrooms are someone’s children…could be even be mine* – quit wasting good educational time!  Administrators – if they’re not doing their jobs to a level of excellence – tell them to get on board – or they’ll walk the plank!  And follow through!!!

Education is NOT just a job.  It is where you share your passion for learning!  You get the opportunity to encourage, challenge and help young minds dream about their future.  Yes, there is much work to be done – every day is not easy.  But when you start getting those notes, emails from former students saying you made the difference for them – you know you’re in the right place.

I know of several times, I’ve given anassignment and went to my desk to catch-up on grading, etc. but, Stump the Teacher’s post made me realize how important it is for my students to know I am in that classroom for them and their learning.  If we want our students to be engaged – then we must model that for them.  I only have them with me for a short time each day – I need to be fully aware of them – focused on them, to give them the best learning experience possible.

Why are my students engaged during classtime?  Because I am engaged – they have my full, undivided attention and my actions prove it to them…they told me so!

*my child’s teachers have been amazing to say the least…and for this, I am thankful!


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