Read Will's post AND the comments because reading it all made me realize this about myself: I suck!
I must be a fraud. I'm not who you think I am!
People in the edublogger community who once thought I was a great teacher would be appalled if they came into my room! Why?
- I also have rules about sharpening pencils. Have you ever had 6 students get up to sharpen their pencils while they should be working on something else. While they are sharpening they are horsing around? All the while you are trying to read with a small group of students? Truly, there HAS to be some organization in a classroom. My rule? Sharpen pencils in the morning and afternoon. Otherwise, take one of my golf pencils (you know the short ones with no erasers?)
- I also thank parents for sending in white board markers and copy paper because I've already spent $800. of my own money this school year alone. Every little bit helps. By the way, I still need sticky notes, if you'd like to send me some. I'll thank you too.
- I often use the textbook as a guide or [GASP] teach from it, because I HAVE to teach to standards and I have to teach 5 subjects every single day and I don't have time to create a project-based activity for every single lesson.
- If I had a parent send me "helpful" emails and copy the principal on them, I would find myself watching my words with such a parent more carefully than I would ordinarily like.
- If I had a parent who told their child he/she can ignore my homework because the parent felt it was unnecessary.... the child will still be held responsible for the homework.
- My students have assigned seats. They are allowed to talk when the talk is meaningful and productive. They are not allowed to talk when someone else is speaking to the group. My students are sitting where "I," THE TEACHER, determine each student can do their best work.
And there's lots more rules! Yes, I have rules in my room. Sometimes I even have to invent more based on some things that occur repeatedly. Often times, I can let rules go because I see the students have adapted beautifully.
And you know what? Despite all these terrible things I do, practically every day I hear from one or more parent that their child is so happy to be in my class. I also hear from former students and parents and administrators and others, but then again, what do they know?
They're not edubloggers.