Spring 2017

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Page 33 of 43

MEMBERS SPEAK 34 ATPE NEWS J ust about the time I'm about to grumble over something seeming- ly foolish my students are doing, I feel an overwhelming sense of conviction. "Are you really any different?" my conscience asks. I am convinced that we teachers are more like our students than we are different. Accepting this humbling truth can help us reframe and approach challenges with a positive attitude. Six Ways We Are Just Like Our Students BY LAURA GALLAWAY, ENGLISH/LANGUAGE ARTS INSTRUCTIONAL COACH AT BRYAN ISD You can curtail backlash for a mandato- ry STAAR training by providing sweets. I've seen schools ration it out day by day during the first week of August in-ser- vice. If they leave the bag out, people pick out the Almond Joys like spoiled trick-or-treaters. Or they hoard it by the fistful like manna in the desert. Anyone who has been within 10 feet of me knows that I am always talking. I'm a verbal processor. I even talk in my head, which causes me to laugh at seemingly random and inappropriate moments. Teachers are notorious for talking during faculty meetings and profession- al developments. I need to talk about what I've just learned. I need to explore how to apply a new idea. I need to hear others' ideas. I'm certain that I have a verbal pres- sure valve. If I can't let it out during a structured time, I just start blurting. Teachers can give students structured opportunities to process information verbally. This is part of the application of Vygotsky's social learning theory. I plan turn-and-talk into instruction. Some kids (especially gifted students) might benefit from sticky notes for a "parking lot" or a learning journal. I know you're thinking they're just going to draw in it. Make expectations clear and suspend the privilege if students abuse it. 1 We like candy. 2 We talk at inappropriate times.

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