5 Keys To Educating People – Revisited

June 9, 2016 Joel Wagner 0
This article has been viewed 236 times.

This is an updated version of the first article written on this blog, which was originally posted on February 11, 2007. It was edited and updated on June 9, 2016 to reflect a maturation in my approach to teaching as well as writing. You can read the original along with a handful of comments here.

A Matter of Priorities
During my first two years of teaching, I discovered that I had a whole lot of information, but the students just weren’t listening to me or learning from me. It was not, mind you, because I was giving them wrong information. It was, however, because I had placed my priorities in the wrong order. When we have the proper perspective, we ...

60 Very Practical Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Teaching

June 7, 2016 Joel Wagner 2
This article has been viewed 380 times.

While I’ve had my ups and downs over the years as a teacher, my first two years were extremely challenging. Many of these pitfalls were avoidable. If I were going into a middle school band class as a first year teacher today, knowing what I know now, I would approach things differently. Here is an unsorted list that I have brainstormed of things I would like to have known before the first day of school.

  1. Begin class on time, every time
  2. Even though attendance is computerized, come up with a simple written system of checking role and do it consistently
  3. Run through each class period in your mind and take notes of questions you have; address those before the first

20 Dead Simple Classroom Management Ideas, Tricks, and Tips

September 4, 2012 Joel Wagner 2
This article has been viewed 17,725 times.

I have written extensively in the past about classroom management and I admit I have glossed over some things while belaboring other points way beyond the point of exhaustion. Below are a few of the common classroom management pieces of advice and a handful of simple tricks to use in effort to make those things happen. Try one or two and see if things become easier…

  • Work on your pacing
    • Slow down your rate of speech; kids don’t comprehend information as fast as we do
    • Be silent more often; silence allows kids to reflect more on what has been said
    • Communicate urgency without getting frantic
    • Be in control of what you say and how you say it
    • Don’t argue with

It’s Not Our Beliefs That Transfer…It’s Our Passion

November 25, 2010 Joel Wagner 0
This article has been viewed 2,881 times.

A friend recently mailed me a copy of the book The Line and the Dot: Alternative thoughts on vision by Paul Gibbs. The book intrigued me because there is very little information on the outside of the book and I trust my friend’s recommendation. So I began reading a little bit. Tonight I came across the following excerpt:

During my time as a school pupil, I had learned a valuable lesson. In the religious education I’d received, I had two different teachers. They both taught me about Christianity, but one turned me off of God, and one turned me on to God. The first taught the program. The second taught passion.

The head of PSE agreed and gave me opportunities ...

15 Tricks To Transform Yourself From Classroom Bully Into A Favorite Teacher

November 6, 2010 Joel Wagner 8
This article has been viewed 5,110 times.

Ramona writes:

I am a first year teacher struggling with classroom management at the elementary school level. I have some logistical challenges because I don’t have my own classroom and travel between classes and schools with a cart. I also have almost 300 different students I see every week. But mostly my problem is that I don’t like to humiliate children and make them feel bad, which seems to be what most classroom management looks like. Of course a child feels embarrassed if you administer some kind of punishment to him or her in front of the whole class. But it seems like if I don’t do that, the kids will walk all over me and I will quit (sooner ...

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