Monday, February 05, 2018

Teaching Tip #97

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #97

Be better than everyone else, part 1.

One of my favorite professional development resources is the podcast Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey.

When college students ask Mr. Cockerell how to be successful, his answer is simple: “be better than everyone else.”

That is absolutely Godin-esque.

So how does one become better than everyone else.

Well, you have to find your niche.

One thing I work very hard on is creating culture in my classroom.  

For example – as I am writing this, it is July 7th.  Shelley just shared with me my class lists for fall semester.  I just looked them over, and now I’m starting to plan ways to engage with my perspective students, especially my juniors, over the summer.

How can I start to wow them now.  If I can get them excited for class . . .  or even just to laugh or start thinking about College Comp, I’ve won.  

I won’t say I build culture that is on the level of Coach Mumm or Reese, but I’ll put my culture up there with just about anyone else.

Another way I build culture is through my stance as a co-learner in my room.

I learn right along with the students.  I will be teaching Outliers in College Comp I this fall for the first time ever.  I’ve read the book one and a half times.  It takes me at least three or four reads before I feel like I really have a complex book like that down.  So the second time I will be reading it, I will be learning a ton . . . right a long with my students.

Another way being a co-learner works for me is just in my attitude.  I’m an overgrown (really overgrown) kid.  Ask my wife.  When we chaperoned the choir trip in 2016, she commented, as I was giving Leah and Abigail grief across the aisle, “You’re just like a kid.  We need a chaperone for you.”

And it’s true.  I think that goes a long way in helping me win over kids.

That way certainly isn’t for everyone.  But it works for me.  

What ways do you find to build culture in your classroom or program?

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