Saturday, September 6, 2014

Reflective Teaching Day 5, a day late

So Day 5 of the Reflective Teaching challenge rolled around yesterday, where I was reminded of a very important teacher lesson. ALWAYS preview tomorrow's materials ahead of time, or you might be caught unprepared. So, yesterday's prompt asked us to share a photo of our classroom. Of course, I realized this AFTER I had left for the day. On a minimum day, no less. And no, I was not going to go back just to take a photo. I have many, but they either are filled with students (not sure about the propriety of posting those) or they were focused on a very small area of my room. Not exactly what I wanted to blog about.

So my husband, bless his heart, took photos for me. For those that don't know me personally, my beloved teaches at the same school. I was feeling sick, so I headed home with the kiddos. My sweet husband headed back to school for the first home football game of the season. He gracefully swung by my classroom to snap a few pics for me. (And pick up my lunchbox, that I managed to leave at school for the upteenth time.) So, here's a few pictures of my room:

Ok, assuming I can figure this out...
This is the back wall of my classroom. Yes, it is quite a small room. On the left you can see our student and staff promises as well as classroom expectations. Across the back you see a variety of books, all purchased by me over the years, that are available for students to borrow. Across the top you can see college banners - I also teach AVID, and I want my kids to be thinking about college all the time. I really like my door. It has a replica of our high school's diploma, provided by Josten's Renaissance. Next to that is a replica of my college diploma. Then I printed out a sign that tells students "I went to college to become a teacher - what will YOU do?" Surrounded all of that with the phrase "Eyes on the Prize!" Add a little bit of bling, and presto! A magic door. 

Side wall number 1. I teach AP European history to 10th graders, which can be challenging. On the top you can see posters of the annotation system I teach my kids. Artwork from the various time periods fills the bulletin boards. A big screen tv is just hinted at on the left - yay for technology and apple tvs! On the right is a critical bulletin board you can't really see. It reminds students how to construct a historical thesis statement by using evidence first!

Side wall number 2. As a No Excuses University High School (one of only a small handful in the nation) we have adopted colleges for our classroom. I chose Michigan, in honor of my Dad's family. On my college wall is proudly displayed a photo of my grandfather suited up for his ice hockey game as captain of the Michigan Wolverines in the 1930's. A cap and gown, proudly showing of my own college honor cords is next. A vocabulary word wall and theme bulletin board complete the picture. 

So that's the virtual tour of my classroom. Of course, the most important piece is missing - my awesome students!

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