Thursday, June 19, 2014

Teaching Tips from the Trenches

This week, I am very happy to be linking up with Lindsay Jervis at The Pursuit of Joyfulness for Teaching Tips from the Trenches Linky Party!

I have been teaching for over 20 years and things in the world of education have changed in so many ways!  Here are a few tips to my fellow educators:

#1 -  Stay Current - or at least as current as you can in the world of education.  This is not an easy task at times because it does require hard work!  I have found that by being involved at my building level with leadership teams and serving on district committees goes a long way to keeping me informed.  I also think it is so very important to attend music workshops and conferences.  This can be at the local, state, regional or national level - just attend!  As we are often ‘loners’ in our building, being the only music teacher, meeting with other like minded educators is so empowering!

#2  - Integrate Technology - No matter what your school provides in regards to technology, integrate it as much as you can.  Remember, the technology should enhance the learning that is already taking place.  Do not integrate technology for the sake of technology.  Also, start simple. Don’t try to bring something new to every single class every day.  Integrate 1 new idea for 1 grade level a week or more or less.  It all depends on your specific situation.

#3 - Routine Routine Routine - Create a routine in your classroom so that the students know what is expected of them.  A few simple things that I incorporate are:
       -meet and greet at the door and invite the students into the music room;
     -when the students walk in the room, they are to make their circle, join hands and wait for the next direction;
     -let the students know the game is about to end by saying something like ‘one more time’.  This really helps those kids that do not transition well, they have time to get ready to move onto the next activity;
     -have a line up procedure for the end of class, in my room, students are called to line up in various ways (boys, girls, birthdays, colors they are wearing, etc).  Once in line, I choose my start student for the day (read my blog post about star student here and check out my star student SmartNotebook file for sale at TpT here - get it now while it is still on sale for half price!)

#4 - Learn Names - In my classroom, I do not have assigned seats so I am very diligent about learning students names - not the just the good, the bad and the ugly, but EVERYONE!  I do this through the use of names games, using names every time I speak to a child or when lining up - basically anytime I can say a name, I do.  This not helps with classroom management but also builds great relationships with the students!  I have around 800 students in my building so this is a very big task for me. It does come in very handy when i’m on bus or cafeteria duty and can rattle off students names - the other staff members love that part of being on duty with me!

I hope you get a few Teaching Tips from the Trenches and I invite you to like my facebook page here and TeachersPayTeachers store here to keep up to date with CMajorLearning!


  1. Thank you for all of those great tips! I'm looking forward to implementing these when I make a fresh start in the fall!
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