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Advice Moving Forward
Old 12-27-2020, 09:06 AM
 
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So, this school year got off to a very rocky start.
Not able to use my room and not able to do all the fun activities that I normally do.
Some virtual students do not even show up to my class. Parents complain directly to the superintendent.
Stress heightened by the harsh Reprimand Letter in my file.
Plus, my health issues and constant physical pain.

A New Year is starting.
Want to return to school rejuvenated.
Do not want to let the normal slings and arrows of school deflate me.
Want to have unshakeable confidence.

Some positive things I'm doing are:
1) therapy once a week
2) Praying the Rosary
3) Bible journaling
4) Gratitude Journal
5) Revamping lessons to make them fun & easy for all students
6) Using written signage to alert students of misbehavior (instead of my voice; since I was criticized for my tone)
7) Adding new resources to lessons (tools that make me feel more comfortable)
8) Contacting parents with positive news about their kids
9) Trying to keep quiet about any issues
10) Trying to NOT react to misbehaving students and NOT take their misbehavior personally

What's your advice for me to move forward and make the rest of the school year a great one?
Your tips are most welcome and much appreciated.


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Old 12-27-2020, 10:01 AM
 
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Persephone, you look like you're covering a lot of bases already. I made cue sticks for my virtual teaching, and they've helped a lot. They might help tone down what some are perceiving as a "tone" to your voice. Here's a freebie set from TPT. If you want to use them, go for it. I laminated them and attached mine to paint stirrer sticks from the hardware store.
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:12 AM
 
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You're doing so much to make things better for yourself. It takes work and I'm impressed with your diligence. Find some time to appear yourself in small ways. Praying that you find a smooth path in 2021.
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Here's another set
Old 12-27-2020, 10:19 AM
 
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These are simpler in design, and look a little more like the buttons on Zoom, Google Meet, and the like.
I see from your profile you're an LMS like me. I only see my kids once a week, so I came up with a sign off for us that we do at the end of each virtual class. At the end of each class, I say,"I love you" and they say back "Today and every day." If that's not your style, try something that's more you. It could be something goofy from a book, like you say "Chicka chicka" and they say "Boom boom", or something connected to your school mascot or something.
I wish you well!
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Old 12-27-2020, 11:51 AM
 
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What you listed looks great. I plan to do some of the same things as I am the point of trying to decide if I want to continue teaching or not. One thing to add might be to do a fun activity each week - a game or art or show and tell - something appropriate for your grade level. My students love time just to visit and share on Fridays.


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Rosary/Biblical Journaling
Old 12-27-2020, 12:03 PM
 
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I like your plan. For the Rosary and/or Biblical journaling, I would suggest doing it in the morning before work if you have time. I think it can set the tone for the day. Maybe add the serenity prayer or a Hail Mary before each class...quick prayers you can say in your head.

I would also suggest making sure you get a good night sleep and planning things to look forward to each week outside of work.

I know sometimes alcohol, like a nice glass of wine, seems like a great fix after a stressful day, but to me, I find that if I do it too often, it negatively impacts my mood in the long run.
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I hope you are really proud of yourself!
Old 12-27-2020, 12:54 PM
 
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I mean that sincerely. You took a pretty harsh blow and instead of just collapsing under the pressure, or turning it outwards and denying any responsibility, you took the criticism as well as any of us could. You listened to the feedback and adjusted your instruction, while continuing to work on building yourself back up by practicing self-care. This Internet stranger is really proud of you. Hang in there! This year is challenging enough without getting negative feedback or dealing with extraordinarily difficult parents and admin.
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Looking good
Old 12-27-2020, 01:23 PM
 
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I donít have any other suggestions. Just sending good vibes and hugs! I think you have listed some positive steps going forward. Wishing you all the best!
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Old 12-27-2020, 01:55 PM
 
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Congratulations on turning your attitude around and having a plan to proceed positively!

I use a joke a day with my students. I downloaded the free downloadable e-book "A Joke-A-Day 200 Kid-Friendly Jokes For The Classroom" from the site Really Good Stuff. Look under their Free Resource page and scroll down to almost the bottom.

Wishing you all the best in 2021!
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Old 12-27-2020, 02:02 PM
 
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All of your ideas sound great.
Just try to visualize coming back in with a clean slate--both you and the students starting fresh. Sometimes just getting a break helps to reset things for everybody!


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Advice
Old 12-27-2020, 03:41 PM
 
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I have no advice, but I'm impressed with your game plan moving forward. You have put a lot of thought into how to handle things, and it will pay off in the end.
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Old 12-27-2020, 04:29 PM
 
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You've got a lot of great ideas here.

You could also put a couple of sticky notes on your computer monitor or the wall behind--where you can see them easily. Put reminders to yourself. Like, "Breathe!" or "Think before reacting" --or an affirmation "I can do this with God's help."
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Old 12-27-2020, 08:01 PM
 
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Iíve been enjoying this book. Iím an over thinker.
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Old 12-27-2020, 08:31 PM
 
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I'm glad you are taking care of yourself and moving on. Come back to visit and share.
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Old 12-28-2020, 03:42 AM
 
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A couple of things that have helped me with challenging classes:

-Pray for my students. I used to take time in the morning, and right before class, to pray for my students. During tests or when they were doing seat work, I would systematically pray for each individual while I was monitoring them.

-When class was particularly challenging, if I had a few minutes (like at the end of class when kids were wrapping up seat work) I would pray a nine minute novena for patience! I know on Zoom it might be all active teaching and no down time, but if you have a few minutes, I did find that this was helpful.
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Old 12-28-2020, 06:29 AM
 
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Thatís awesome that youíre being so proactive! Your ideas sound good. Definitely donít take their misbehaving personally. Itís not. This is a stressful year for everyone, theyíre kids, and their behaviors likely arenít done to spite or annoy you.
My advice, take it fir what itís worth: donít try too much. Iíd try to do one or two new things at home and one or two new things school related. Too many things make it hard to keep up.
Do something fun...definitely each week but better to do it every few days if you can . Theyíre kids, this year seriously is rough and if you can get them excited about something then Iíd do it.
Iím concerned a bit about the ďkeeping quiet about issues.Ē I understand why you put it down and Iíve been inclined to do the same in certain circumstances. However, sometimes things get to admin anyway and admin doesnít like surprises.
The only other thing Iíve noticed is that I was a bit surprised to see no goals related to your son. Iím glad Iím hinge are going well but why not add something for/with him since I know how central he is to your life.
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Old 12-28-2020, 08:06 AM
 
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I think you're amazing! You've taken quite a blow this year, and you're doing what you can to make things better!
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Old 12-28-2020, 09:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Iíve been enjoying this book. Iím an over thinker.
This looks good! Is it interactive, like do you write in it? Now I'm curious!
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9 Minute Novena
Old 12-28-2020, 09:04 AM
 
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Quote:
I would pray a nine minute novena for patience!
I never heard of this! I love this! it is definitely something I need sometimes (more than sometimes! ) Can you share more? Is it a scripted prayer?
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Old 12-28-2020, 03:36 PM
 
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Wonderful ideas and such a positive attitude.

Sometimes I just quickly say, ďLet go, let God.Ē
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Old 12-28-2020, 05:42 PM
 
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I think you have all the bases covered. I like the idea of praying in the morning. When I try to say the rosary at the end of the day, I am often tired. Here is a site i like to go to. It's short and powerful. https://www.sacredspace.ie
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9 minute novena
Old 12-29-2020, 04:20 AM
 
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Teacherbee...

I made it up. . A novena is just a prayer repeated (sometimes with a variation for each day) for nine days.

So...

Lord, please help me to get through this class. Please let the kids not get any louder.

Lord please help me get through this class. Please give me the words to say to Robert so he will settle down.

Lord please help me get through this class. Please donít let admin look in right now!

Etc...nine prayers (usually in the final nine minutes of class).

I survived many a rough class that way.
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Love it!
Old 12-29-2020, 08:43 PM
 
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Thanks Lisa! Great idea!
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Remember...
Old 12-30-2020, 10:30 AM
 
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This is not a normal year. It is more difficult to establish student and parent relationships through a screen or phone. If you had a supportive administrator, and parents who came to you before complaining to the top, the outcome might have been different.

That being said, just remember it is not possible to revamp every lesson to make them fun and easy for all students. You definitely want to challenge them at their level of learning, but you don't necessarily want the lessons easy for everyone. Perseverance at difficult tasks can often promote a growth mindset, which you want. Pick and choose carefully so you don't burn yourself out. You will never please everyone.

I love your #8. By making a conscious effort to focus on the positive parents can and will move into your corner.

Best wishes for a fantastic rest of the year. Here's to new beginnings!
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