Saturday, March 10, 2018

31 Teaching Truths

Photo by Fischer Twins via Unsplash
10. Routines are powerful.

Routines are like paved paths through a beautiful, well-groomed park (aka your day). They get you from point A to point B in a relatively efficient manner, everyone knows what to expect from them, the sights you see and the stops you make along the way are comfortingly familiar. After you've walked the same path for several weeks in a row, you can close your eyes and walk it in your sleep. Key words: efficient, comfortable.

If you know me, or if you read Truth #3, you know this isn't the end of this story. Stay tuned for Truth #11 tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Not enough can be said for the importance of routine – for both teachers and students. When we can get students accustomed to a set approach, rules and expectations, the students tend to respond better to tasks and what is asked of them. Especially with younger students, I think they like having an established road to travel. In the elementary school (K-4) where I am a media specialist, I’ve noticed a sense of relief and less anxiety in students when they are aware of what is ahead of them. With knowledge of what is ahead, students can mentally prepare and put themselves in a more advantageous position to learn, think and discuss.

    Let me use my first-grade students as an example. Each week, I see each of my five first-grade classes between Monday and Tuesday for their official library period (they visit a second time later in the week for character education). From the beginning of the year, I try to establish a routine that is consistent. The first 30 minutes of the period are spent on our lesson and the associated activity or learning task. The final 10 minutes are reserved for the students’ book exchange.

    It may sound simple to break the class into a 30-10 structure, but this approach has been highly effective. Students recognize that when we get to the media center, we have work to do. We’re going to embark on some type of learning journey. They don’t know exactly what awaits, but they know we have a topic to address and they need to be focused. They are also aware that if we are efficient with our time, the final 10 minutes will be for the book checkout, and this time will not be abbreviated by runover from the lesson.

    While routine is helpful for students, it is also beneficial for me as the media specialist. By establishing a specific structure and expectations, I see students come to class in a ready-to-go manner. We don’t waste a great deal of time getting “set up” or flicking the switch to ready mode. I find a degree of peace of mind due to this system, and every little bit of peace of mind can be helpful for a teacher’s mindset.


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