I love this new book Sara Discovered...It saves me a
lot of time writing my own chapters - I will just say
- see the How Rude Book, The Teenagers' Guide to Good
Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People Out
by Alex Parker ...and then say ditto to what he said.
I am putting out the "Sandra Barrick Challenge" to all
of you...Do what Sandra did and ASK YOUR
students...middle school an up can handle this
discussion. Elementary kids made it more about them
(as Sandra found out).
ASK your students:
What is it that teachers in general do that bug you?
What is it that I do that bugs you? (I even told my
kids what I did that bugged me - I knew all of my
What is it that art teachers do that make you want to
learn and do your best?
What is it that art teachers do that stifle your
creativity? or make you not want to work?
Report your findings for out own list for IAD.
No need to tell the kids what it is that they do -
they already know (most of them do what they do on
purpose). See how their attitude changes - you will be
very surprised. This will be important as you get
closer to the end of the year. Find out WHY they start
to shut down. You can read all you want in the
research --but you have the answers sitting right out
in your classroom. I guarantee you will get them
to work for you through out the rest of the year. This
does work with middle school kids....by high school?
It may be too late - they are already getting
closer to being an adult and are harder to
change...Pardon my vent - but it is adult behavior
that bugs me most - not kid behavior. Hey in my former
school the teachers started to "shut down" towards the
end of the year - can you blame the kiddies?
OK -- now print out your Thou Shalts and Shalt Nots
(add some of your own after you do your own survey)
and keep them close at hand. do you see yourself in
any of those (smile). The author of this book knows
kids! I just wish I had discovered how much kids knew
about learning earlier in my career (smile). I made my
discover when I started thinking about what to do my
research project on - that was fall of 1998. I did all
sorts of surveys (unscientific) to try to pin things
down. What I really wanted to do was research the
effect of teacher motivation on learning but couldn't
find much on that - so I did kid motivation. Trust me
though - the more motivated you are to learn the more
motivated they will be. Try to learn something new
with each lesson you teach. I changed my lessons every
year - even though the written lesson plan was the
same for some of them (no one read them - so what was
Now the next time you sit in a lounge (like when will
you have time?) just grin and smile and say "Oh is
that so. They are perfect angels for me"
Sara, you are a genius for discovering this book!
Pardon my RUDE post.... I can be rude now. I can write
as long a post as I want because I have time to be
rude. I will just apologize every time I make a rude
long post (grin). "Warning"....One day I may even be
sitting here wearing a red hat and my purple dress!