(Photo by student Noemi Gonzalez)
When we talk about humanizing the classroom, we focus on humanizing it for our students, but don’t forget that we need to humanize the teacher’s role too. That is why I incorporate Tips of the Day in my classroom, because I have knowledge/insights that I would like to share with my students that are not necessarily in the curriculum. I start class every day with a Tip of the Day. At the beginning of the semester, I tell my students to dedicate the first two pages of their notebooks to the Tips of the Days because if they were to take anything from the class, this would be it.
Some of my tips include:
- Math is not about speed.
- Focus on depth, not breadth.
- Closed mouths don’t get fed.
- Say “Ask me at least 2 questions” rather than “Do you have any questions?”
- Teachers and students are on the same side.
- It’s okay if you don’t understand something the first time you see it.
- Mistakes are expected, respected, and inspected.
When I student-taught in an 8th grade classroom, I would have a Tip of the Week just so we can practice that tip the entire week. Some of those tips included: “Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’” and “Try to make eye contact when talking to someone”. Of course, I told my students that they are their own critical thinkers so they don’t have to agree with all my tips just because I say it.
Remember that you deserve to humanize your role as a teacher. You have experiences that your students can learn from, so go out and turn your experiences into Tips of the Day!
Thank you for reading.