Sunday, February 28, 2010

She Said I Had a "Dream Class"

I wasn't planning on writing a "Part II" to my last post.  However, I received many more than a few posts about how important manners are to all of you... and a few bemoaning the manners of today's children and the fact that our schools are not doing enough to help with the epic proportions of disrespect and gratitude among our children today.  Just wanted to let you know that a few teachers are doing their part, yours truly included

A few days ago, I had quite a scare in my classroom:  I thought my computer had a virus.  I totally teach through my computer and Smartboard.  Horrors!!!  The IT person from the district (God bless her!) finally came in the midst of my teaching my fourth graders and had to interrupt me to ask questions throughout the twenty or so minutes she was there.  When she left, she commented to me, "You have a dream class.  I have never seen such polite students."

She is right.  I do have a dream class.  (Sure, they drive me crazy sometimes, but they are nine and ten-year-olds!)  In all my years, I have never had a bad class.  Never.  As a whole, I have always had a good, if not dream, class.  And I'm going to tell you why.
  1. I expect my students to have good manners.  I expect them to say "yes, ma'am" and "no, ma'am".  If they don't they have to repeat themselves until they do.   My class discipline letter states this as well.  In it, I tell the parents that it conveys an atmosphere of respect.  Our town has many northern transplants, and I have yet to have any parent complain.  I also tell them that I expect "please" and "thank you" from each student as I will use those words with the children as well. 
  2. Our classroom rules are created by the students.  Every year, we come to the conclusion that all rules are based on treating others with respect and showing them good manners.  Therefore, the class always includes one that says "We will only say things to others that will make them feel good."  (Too bad all the kids from those horrible Disney and Nick shows don't follow that rule...)
  3. Whenever we have a speaker/visitor come to our class (we've had three so far), I have every student write a "thank you" letter.  We brainstorm on specific things we learned or enjoyed from their visit.  Every letter must be at least five sentences and share how much they appreciated the visit.  This teaches gratitude and showing it to others.  The children love hearing about how much the recipients enjoy their letters - and I get a writing grade!
  4. I am "Mom" from 7:30 until 2:15.  I will love them like a mom, and only expect the best from them... like a mom.  Sometimes when I get onto them, I tell them, "I'm treating you just like I treat Sumter and Jackson."  They laugh and say, "That's because you are OUR mom from 7:30 until 2:15!" 
Now I can't speak for all teachers - or all schools for that matter.  As a matter of fact, I wish our school had more to say about manners.  But I can't wait for everyone else.  I have double duty as a parent and teacher.

And... I love having a "dream class".

19 comments:

  1. This is great-I love it! If I go back to a classroom, I will do this as well. I didn't think of all that before I had my own kids, now I do-

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  2. Honey, you are a DREAM TEACHER!! Your students and your sons are very blessed!!!

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  3. Yes you are the TEACHER I dream about! HOW lucky your students and parents are...hope they realize what a GEM they have!!!

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  4. I wish I had you as my teacher!

    And hands down, all of my children's best teachers are those who have their own children!

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  5. Bravo, I am giving you a round of applause as I sit here reading!!!
    I love to hear of teachers who try to incoporate civility and social harmony in their classrooms, and who think of their students as more than just 'students'. We should all be so blessed to have teachers like you touch our lives at least once in a lifetime!
    Have a wonderful week!

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  6. I am so proud of you!! And I hope more teachers are like you as well!

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  7. I bt all the parents want their children to be in YOUR classroom! I applaud you!

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  8. I'd put my children in school if they could all be with you! lol

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  9. That is so wonderful - I hope my children have the same experience in their school. I'm sure the parents are so appreciative of this and I imagine that your students are quite fond of you.

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  10. What a wonderful teacher you are! We moved to a northern state from a southern one and my daughters (at a private school no less) were asked not to say "yes maam" and "no maam" while at school. I was floored! I would love for my kids' teachers to reinforce what we teach at home in terms of manners. I do have to say, we do have some wonderful teachers and my sons' classes in particular are very polite, but the no "yes maam" thing threw me for a loop!

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  11. I wish you were my teacher and that I could ensure that you could teach my children.

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  12. Bravo, Bevy! What a blessing you are to your students and their families!

    When you get a chance, would you email me your jazzed up Jiffy corn bread recipe? I'm planning to make chili this weekend for our Oscars party and thought your cornbread sounded so good. eloise@weaselsjourney.com

    Thanks!

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  13. I want you to come to teach my daughters, PLEASE! You're an amazing teacher and an inspiration to others. Thank you! xoxo

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  14. Thanks for expecting the best from your students. I hear comments from lots of other teachers that don't like ma'am and sir, but I too feel these are terms of respect. There is nothing sweeter than children answering an adult by saying "yes ma'am" or "yes sir".

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  15. Just as the others have said...you have a "dream" class because YOU are a dream teacher. I wish every teacher were as thorough and dedicated as you are. I love teachers!

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  16. You are a great example of why manners are so important. Manners make such a difference in your classroom as they do in life. You are teaching life long lessons to your students and doing a wonderful job! Well done!

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  17. How lucky are your students? The bad manners today amaze me! So glad to see you teach to a very high expectation! You're awesome! :-) XOXO

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Thanks for your sweet comments... They make my day just that more Golden!