07-08: What Worked Well General by Joel Wagner - June 11, 2008July 1, 20100 As we begin the summer vacation, I am looking back on what went really well this year, what didn’t work so well, and what needs to change for next year. Below are some of the positives about this year: Remaining calm – Despite circumstances this year, with the other band director having a stroke and all, I was able to stay calm most of the time. I lost my temper a few times, but it was nothing compared to my previous years of teaching. A lot of this comes from stress reduction measures I put into place, as well as growing up. Doing my job without complaining – I complained a bit on here and to friends, but never at work did anyone hear me complain about the extra workload I had to deal with. I had one problem that my principal helped me out with, but the rest of the year was relatively seamless. The problem came as the result of having to teach two classes at once and not even having a substitute or anyone else in the classroom to help. Beginning with the end in mind – I started the year and made the goals and classroom expectations very clear to the students. Our goal was to go to UIL contest and get sweepstakes. We did that. I’ve talked about it on and off on this blog. Check out this search. Classroom management made incredible growth as well. By the end of the year, I have learned how to get in front of the class while they are playing and, without saying a word, get them quiet, and go through the entire warm up procedure. Without saying a word. This is established by consistent routines. Organization – I would say that organization is one of my weakest areas. I get things done, but if someone else were to come into my office and look for something, they would have a hard time finding it. Nevertheless, this year has been much more organized than the past years have been! Reducing paperwork is a big key here. Blogging – I have said it a number of times, but I am convinced that blogging (and other colabboration) has been the greatest reason for my professional growth this year. Blogging has provided me with an opportunity to sit back, analyze what happened, and figure out how to make it happen (or not happen) again. It has also given me a chance to figure out how to make things happen better. Blogging makes me a better teacher! Now it’s your turn. If you have blogged about the year, great! If not, why not share some things here that you did well this year. Share some of your successes! Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.