Saturday, July 28, 2007

Responsive Classroom

I just complete my weeklong training session for Responsive Classroom. This is an approach to teaching that enables teachers to help children create a community of learners who are accepting, helpful, respectful, and hardworking.

My first job as a member of this training period was to learn how to be a student again. I have not been in a classroom as a student for a very long time. That's not to say I don't continue learning always, but I normally do it on my own, online, or in one-day conferences. This was one solid week, Monday through Friday, 8-3:30. I followed another teacher's schedule...with breaks and lunch when I was told to break and have lunch. It was extremely difficult for me to get back into that "student" role. I's a shocker ;)...I like being in charge.

But mostly, this week was about learning. I loved the Responsive Classroom approach, am excited to implement it in the classroom (Christine, get ready for the ride of your life), and have already spoken to the principal about getting more teachers involved.

The basic idea of RC is to use specific language and proactive teaching to teach students to respect one another, treat each other with kindness, and work to their potential. The belief is all children (and all of us) need to feel a sense of belonging, significance, and fun in order to learn. And this is so true.

I started an internship with the Webcast Academy this week. Not only did the instructors (Thanks Cheryl and Susan) make us all feel so welcome and comfortable, but I found many friends were in the class with me. I immediately felt at ease knowing that I "belonged" there. And having my friends say hello to me as I entered the chat room gave me that sense of "significance". I kept thinking about this throughout the RC training. How wonderful if the children could feel this on a daily basis.

So now on to preparation and, in September, implementation. The excitement never ends!


Durff said...

I was going to mention in our phone call, and forgot...I used "Morning Meeting" and it was a great community builder, as well as teaching an Asperger's kid how to greet so well that he did it during an IEP mtg when he felt they needed community for him to feel more comfortable. I was not there and it was in another school. The public schools here still must do IEPs for kids who attend our private school. I don't pretend to understand why....

LiteracyTeacher said...

I went to the RC Training last summer and it was super helpful. Best week of professional development I spent... ever! It helped me to change kids for the better and truly cut down on the number of referrals i sent to our office.

Cheryl Oakes said...

so glad you are in the webcastacademy, you are a great addition. hang in here.