Classroom Management

EBENEZER SCROOGE ON CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

"He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil.  Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up:  what then?  The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune." A Christmas Carol  by Charles Dickens (1812-1870),   Ebenezer Scrooge to the Spirit of Christmas Past, talking about the virtues of his former employer, Fezziwig.  Is being in my class a pleasure or a toil for my [...]

FIRST WEEK TO-DO LIST

"Si al comienzo no muestras quién eres, nunca podrás después, cuando quisieres."  "If at first you do not show who you are, you will never be able to afterwards when you want to." From El Conde Lucanor, Cuento XXXV, by Don Juan Manuel (Medieval Castilian writer, 1282-1348). The first week of school is a magical and vitally important time. This is the honeymoon period, those brief few days when it seems like every single one of your students like you, like the class and like each other. Almost every year the honeymoon phase will trick you into thinking you don't [...]

OBSERVATION BY A NEW TEACHER

I have been very fortunate to have been visited by two master teachers in the past two weeks: Connie Navarro and Karen Rowan. Now here are the observations by a set of fresh eyes. Noah is a second year teacher from a Christian school in Denver, full of ideas and hope, who had asked to visit my classroom. Here are his observations. I had heard about Bryce through some colleagues in the Spanish Teaching world. When I read that this was his final year teaching, I decided I better try to observe him while I still had the opportunity. When I [...]

WHAT’S THE PASSWORD?

Get Bryce's new book on classroom passwords here. This project grew out of a short blog post. I was enthusiastic about the results I was getting with passwords with my students and wanted to share what was working with my colleagues. Originally it was just a few examples of passwords that had worked for me and an invitation to share ideas. It could have been written as a blog series, but I just kept adding to the original post. This is the result. As ideas from the original short blog post began to flow comments, questions and suggestions from colleagues [...]

ENDER’S GAME AND CLASSROOM JOBS

If you haven't implemented classroom jobs, think about it. They change the dynamic in the classroom by recruiting students to do the minimum wage tasks which gives the teacher time to think. Jobs let students share some of the load so that you can do what you are best suited to do. Students with jobs are more aware of what is happening in the classroom and can use their own initiative to deal with situations that come up and achieve limited goals. The shared responsibilities and power allows students to make some of the tactical decisions while the teacher focuses [...]

THE TAKEN SPEECH FOR TEACHERS

Here is a speech I long to give to my students at the beginning of the school year. Maybe this will be the year. (Most effective when read with Liam Neeson's voice.) "I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are just looking for a grade, I can tell you I don’t have grades in mind. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for students that just want a grade. But if you let [...]