Think About It: Sometimes I "go for a Google" to check out sites that might help me identify new trends or rework parameters for projects under construction that aren't flowing quiet as smoothly as I had planned. More often than not the TeachingChannel pops up in the first 10 search suggestions.The TeachingChannel is a perfect site to check out great teaching and inspiring ideas in education. I especially liked what I found today regarding redirecting students with "the look."
I've Never "Motivated" A Student
In The Classroom: Today I had the pleasure of watching my grade 8 students collaborate during a creative writing assignment. The students are far enough into the school year to understand expectations. Content for the creative stories quickly digressed into playful teasing of friends in the description of main characters. My first response was to go silent and put on "that face." For the most part, I would say the students recovered appropriate behavior quickly and moved forward with the assignment. But reflectively, I just didn't like the the feeling that replaced the cooperative peer to peer support that had developed in the beginning of the assignment. Larry Ferlazzo writes a great piece about motivating winning behavior.
To My Surprise: Watching the TeachingChannel video My Teacher Look: Getting Students Back on Track was helpful in creating an opportunity to identify what was bothering me. Observing another professional give "the look" made me wonder how my students internalized my teacher look. In the video the look appeared to say, " I see you, I don't like what you are doing, others are watching, now back down." Of course, that is simply my interpretation. Prior experience with middle school and high school students makes me believe that there are definitely better ways to communicate a request for redirection. I discovered some great insight in the comments posted below the TC video. A very good resource for professional growth.