Mission #1: The Power of the Blog

(First of all I want to say that I don’t have a class this year.  But I had a class for the last 15 years so I’ll take it from there.)

Why is my class different than any other class?  Well it’s because of ME!  I am what makes my class different from other classes in my school.  So let me try to describe my teaching.

For the last 4 years I have taught 7th and 8th grade math students who are all several years behind when they enter my class.  You know the kid – “I can’t do math” “Math sucks”  “I’ll never use this” “I don’t get it”.  And having these kids every day has changed my teaching style for the better.

I’m big and loud and in their faces.  I tell stories, I whistle, I tell jokes, I am sometimes sarcastic, okay more than sometimes.  I keep their eyes on me by demanding their attention.  I know that sounds very ‘old school’ and I guess I have something of an old school style.  But I’m morphing and my students have more choice than I used to give, more collaborative work, less Ms. Harris.

And sometimes people say I’m too tough on kids which makes me a little sad.  But, for the most part kids like me by the end of the year and they know I care about them.  And they leave my class closer to grade level.

So what’s unique about my classroom – it’s me.  A few years ago my District kicked off the year with a “It Begins with Me” motto for everyone in the District.  It kind of got lost over the last couple of years.  But I believe it not only begins with me, it ends with me.  I’m accountable!!



4 Responses to “Mission #1: The Power of the Blog”

  1. 1 Mark Dittmer October 7, 2013 at 12:20 am

    It will be interesting to hear what you think about coaching–What kind of coach do you think you will be? I appreciate your description of what kind of teacher you were. Look forward to hearing more about the new adventure.

    P.S. My name’s Mark and I’m a second year teacher out in California.

  2. 2 Tegan October 7, 2013 at 12:30 am

    You’re very right, part what makes any class unique is it’s teacher. The teacher is part of the mix of things that go together to make the class, and will play the integral role in making that class an enjoyable place. When I was a high school student, my teachers *were* the subject. If the teacher and I didn’t get along then I didn’t like the subject. (luckily, since then, I learned to separate my feelings for subjects from my feelings about the teacher, but it seems pretty common among students to have this link).

  3. 3 mrdardy October 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I’m also curious to hear how this new adventure unfolds. I suspect that you’ll find real value in the coaching but that you’ll miss the daily adventures. At least, I know I did. I took a year out of the classroom to finish up doctoral coursework and I worked one hour a day in the math lab at my school. I had fun helping out but missed the daily routine terribly.

  4. 4 Jason Ermer (@CollaboMath) October 8, 2013 at 1:51 am

    Hi Chris! Welcome to the MTBoS!

    I find that I can usually spot the middle school people in a crowd of teachers. When I say “middle school people” I don’t mean just middle school teachers, I mean teachers that truly love working with middle school kids. Teachers who enjoy — not just endure — helping them navigate those impossible, exciting, hormonal years.

    I suppose I’m good at spotting middle school people because I am one myself. We haven’t met, but I think I can get a sense of your personality from your post. Are you one of those people? 🙂 In any case, I look forward to hearing more from you!


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