Back in the Swing of Teaching

Last week was all about setting the tone, creating a positive learning environment, building relationships, and going over policies and procedures. While I will continue to do these things, today really felt like my official first day back in the classroom as a teacher. Simply put… I love it and I am most definitely operating in my calling. I’ve always felt that teaching was a calling. Have you ever taught a lesson and walked away like damn, that was a good lesson? I teach girls in grades 6th, 7th and 8th grade. They really are some lovely students. Before meeting the students, during my interview and orientation, they expressed how nice they were. I believe in honeymoon periods, but these girls are just sweet.

My 7th graders are working on Volleyball and specifically the overhead pass. However, the MYP (Middle Years Program) is really about teaching the kids lifelong skills and PE is just the mode which it is delivered. For example the statement of inquiry for volleyball:  The choices we communicate as a team will result in different consequences. I also came up with a  tagline to help the girls quickly recall and relate to the statement. ”Positive communication equals positive results.”

And you also have inquiry questions such as:

  • Factual- What methods can we use to communicate?
  • Conceptual- How can we communicate effectively?
  • Debatable- Why should I think before I choose my actions?

I will be using these questions from time to time for lesson closure or exit tickets.

There are key and related concepts along with the global context. It’s a really neat way to teach. There are also Approaches to Learning which I integrate into my input, check for understanding and guided practice. Such as:

  • Organization Skills: Managing time and tasks effectively
  • Set goals that are challenging and realistic
  • Affective Skills: Managing state of mind
  • Self motivation
  • Practice analyzing and attributing causes for failures.
  • Communication: Give and receive meaningful feedback.
  • Exchanging thoughts, messages and information effectively through interaction

Oh and I can’t forget the criterion for formative and summative assessments at the end of each unit. Can you tell I’m a teacher geek?

So, my 6th graders are swimming and 8th graders are doing Tae Kwon Do. Those lessons went well today, but those are for sure my areas for growth after reflecting on my teaching today. I’m excited for this school year and how much I will grow as teacher in a new school and the MYP.

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