I’ve decided to start learning more from other teachers around me. I’m eager to start conversations with other teachers to learn from them. I’ll be sharing what I learn in a series called “Teacher Chat!”
Chat with Diane from the USA
What grade(s) do you teach/have you taught? 2nd & 3rd
What’s one thing you do to prepare for/get through parent-teacher conferences?
I have students write a fill-in-the-blank letter to their parents telling what they like about school, their hardest and easiest subjects, their friends. At the conference, that letter is the first item in their folders. I have the student read it to their parents which gives us a great starting point for talking about reading, or whatever their strengths and weaknesses that they wrote about.
What’s one of your favorite end-of-the-year activities to do with your class?
I love to give each student an award. (There is a great list on squareheadteachers.com.) This is the last thing we do before they leave on the last day. We put the chairs in a big circle and then I pass them out, telling a little about what the student did to earn the award. We let each person determine which cheer they want us to give them for their award. It’s a super positive way to end the year.
What’s one thing you do to encourage good behavior in your class?
Tired of tattling, I made a “Caught InThe Act Doing Something Good” spiral notebook. When kids notice someone doing something good, they write it in the notebook. I read it once a week, kids loved it!
Tell us about one thing you wish you’d known when you first started teaching.
I will never be “caught up” or “finished” with the things I want to do for my class. So, don’t stress, do what you can, then go home and have an enjoyable life outside of teaching.
What gets you through a hard day?
On hard days, I like to remember the small things that I am making a difference on with individual kids – especially the tough ones.