NORM!

How different would you classroom look if it looked like this?

Now I’m not looking at the surroundings of this video. Classrooms in the bar is NOT what I’m talking about. However, each time Norm walked into Cheers, everyone said his name. How different would our classrooms look if everyone would acknowledge the person that walked in. The student then has a moment to share a little about themselves before the conversations go on.

What would that look like? Would students behave more in class? Would students have a chance to share about themselves that everyone would get to know?

I recently read a blog post by Sean Granger called, We need schools where “everybody knows your name”. It points out facts about schools closing their doors right at the end of the day and students not allowed to stay. This morning, it put me in my place.

Yesterday after I was stayed at school to get some things finished up. I went to the office to take care of a couple of things and a student stopped me in the hall and asked if I was staying for long. Here I am a new teacher and this student had missed the bus. He asked if he could sit in my room and read while he waited for the later bus to get home. I didn’t know what was allowed or not. I stood there a little lost not knowing what to do. Another teacher came walking by and allowed the student to go to her room and wait.

Being a new teacher I didn’t know if this was allowed. Watching this veteran teacher take in a student after school showed me that this is allowed. I now want to stay after school for those students that need a place to go. Also, I am always at school early, and have had students come in before school if they need a place to relax.

How different would schools look if we all allowed students to come in and visit and get to know each other? How different would students act in your room during class if you took the time to get to know students outside of teaching time.

As Sean said, for some students “school is the only safe and nurturing environment kids know”, so why do we kick them out? Students look at us as teachers as more than just the person teaching them subject matter. They look at us for many reasons. Take the time to know your students and to yell, “NORM”, as they walk in your door.

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About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
This entry was posted in Education, New School, Norm, School, Students, Teachers. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to NORM!

  1. Molly says:

    Indeed, we need schools where students are known. I have taught in relatively big schools (more than a 1.000 students in two grade levels) and in a school with less than 500 students. I think that the large school was too impersonal. In the smaller school setting, if I did not know names, at least, I knew the students faces. .

  2. Thanks for mentioning my post Anthony. “knowing kid’s names” is of course analogous with more than just memorizing their given name; it’s about knowing them as individuals with hopes and dreams, skills and strengths, personalities… stories. It all starts with the story http://www.seangrainger.com/2011/02/edukare-part-2-starting-with-story.html
    I know this is almost unbelievable, but a principal in my District who has since become a Superintendent in another city actually memorized the names of over 1700 students before he started work there, but that was only the tip of the iceberg regarding how far he would go to acknowledge kids (and staff.) Every day he would spend time clipping news about students/staff, writing them letters at home of congratulation (he would often send staff letters to their spouses to let them know how great it was to work with their husband/wife.) He walked the halls picking up trash at breaks, and hand delivered the daily announcements to every teacher (over an hour of time invested in getting to know his school, and everyone that was part of it.)
    Large or small, when we care enough about the places and people we spend our time with everyday, magical things happen.
    Cheers, and best wishes in your new role.
    Sean

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