C.M. Corner: Summer Break!

Travis Chapman

Congratulations!  You’ve made it!  Whether your districts are finishing up in the next 2 weeks or have already finished, you have made it through the 17-18 school year.  Take a deep breath and enjoy the much needed and deserved break.  In our final C.M. Corner for the year, we’ll take a look at how we can improve our classroom management through reflecting  and looking forward.
Normally, the end of December is reserved for reflection and goal setting, but this is a perfect time to do so for anybody in education.  Take some time to reflect on this past year and self-evaluate.  What do you think you consistently did well?  Was it working with a specific population or need? Was it building relationships?  I always start with the positive side first, to set the tone that amid all of the struggles or perceived failures, that there was and is success.  Then, look at what are things you can improve on.  Write them down.  That way they aren’t floating around, but you can be intentional about finding opportunities to grow in those areas.    Taking the time to intentionally reflect moves us from a place of reaction to pro-action.  We are no longer stuck always responding to things and never getting ahead of the curve.  Reflection allows us to take a moment, figure out our strengths and weaknesses and then we can do something about it.  There are a lot of resources available to help you work on those areas, whether one of our in-person classes or online trainings found on the TOC website, under the resources tab.
Along with taking the time to reflect, find opportunities to grow your skills and knowledge.  You could take an online training, attend a summer class through your community education program or even go to the library or museum.  Most people think that Classroom Management can only be helped by learning how to respond to poor behavior.  However, the more we are able to connect with our students and engage them in the material, the less negative behavior we will see in our classrooms.  Learn more about math by taking a cooking class or studying some cool architecture.  Pick up a book that’s popular with students and young adults or books that they had read that past year.  Visit a museum or research various points in history and see how they relate to situations happening today.  While these things do not teach you how to respond to behaviors, they can help you connect with your students and bring the classwork to life.
Lastly, enjoy yourself.  Do something fun!  Try a new restaurant, go to a county or state fair, hike at one of the many incredible state parks or try something you’ve always wanted to but never had the time.   While it may not seem that it would have any affect on your classrooms, this can do a number of things for you.  You will have new experiences that you can connect with your students about.  It puts you in new situations which will in turn help you to be more flexible when challenges arise.  It can also help you find new ways to manage and deal with your own stress.  As you think about what you are looking forward to doing, you can even discuss that with your students.  Find out what they are going to do or are excited about doing/trying. 
In education, we have an incredible opportunity that most other careers and occupations do not.  Take advantage of the time that you have over this summer to not only relax, but to grow and work on our end to make next year even better not only for you, but also for the students that you will be working with. 
We truly appreciate everything that you do for your students each and every day!  You are an incredible asset to our school districts and we appreciate you.  If you have any questions about training, please reach out to us at training@teachersoncall.com or at 800-713-4439.  And if we don’t speak with you before then, have a great summer!