Friday, March 3, 2017

Period 1 - Badass Teachers Association

Badass Teachers Association:

Period 1

By:  Marla Kilfoyle, Executive Director, The Badass Teachers Association

Marla Kilfoyle, Exec. Dir.
The Badass Teachers Association 

Here is what folks don’t get about teaching - it is not effective or ineffective; you are not a bad teacher or a good teacher.

The art of teaching cannot be confined to one definition for every school day.

The art of teaching is different on different days, with different classes of students, and is different with individual students.

The art of teaching does not exist in a silo of one word.

One of the administrators who worked in my district said it best, “Teaching is the only profession where you have to make 30 decisions in a 40 minute period that can impact a child’s life.”

Teaching is not one thing or the other.

Teaching is many things all at once.

Please enter Period 1 Global History.

The teacher has a lesson ready to go!  In this class, she has 33 students, all with varying abilities, languages, cultural backgrounds, and mental/physical health issues.

The bell rings, the students begin to enter the room.  They mingle, they sit, they chat, they laugh.

The bell rings to begin Period 1, and the teacher points to the objective on the board. “Ok, today we are going to discuss the foundation of democracy that was established in Ancient Greece.”

A hand goes up - “Mrs. Smith, can I use the restroom.”

The teacher thinks - John needs to always use the restroom right at the beginning of the period; this has been a pattern for the last week and he is missing important introduction instruction; I am going to decline his request right now and ask him to wait.

“John, can you wait about three minutes so that you don’t miss the introduction to the lesson?” John agrees and stays.

The teacher continues - “Please pull out your notebooks and get out a lined piece of paper for our Bellringer activity.”  (A Bellringer activity is a quick activity to introduce students to the concept of the lesson.  It is usually a quick 4-8 minute activity)

James gets out of his seat and approaches the teacher at the front of the room, “Mrs. Smith I feel sick can I go to the nurse.” The teacher stops what she is doing, goes to the desk and writes the student a pass to go to the nurse. She reminds the student to sign into the nurse so 
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