Author Archives: Against the Wind

Give Me Respect

I always thought that I would automatically get respect from students when I walked the coridoors of a school because I was a teacher. That was not the case. You have to work hard to get respect. You have to say “hi” and get to know names of kids. You have to pay attention. You have to stop and talk to students during recess or any chance you get. Don’t be an authoritarian. Respect will come. Things become easier.


My shortest post on motivation.

Rewarding students and punishing students can be exhausting and counterproductive. Focus on the intrinsic, not the extrinsic motivators. Building relationships and discovering what motivates students is the best “classroom management” I can think of. Just imagine the growth.

Is teaching all about Control?

“Do you have control over your class?” “ She does not have control over her class.” “ He does not control his class at all.” “ You need control over your students.” I have heard questions and statements like these a lot in my teaching career. It would appear that teaching is all about control, control, control. It is not. It is about building relationships with students. Learning follows. Get away from the “mind set” of control. Then sit back and watch the results.

For more on this topic see Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community, Alfie Kohn, as recommended by Scott McLeod below. @mcleod

A Short Conversation With…Greta Sandler @gret

How long have you been teaching?
I’ve been an English as a second language teacher for about 8 years. I used to teach young adults at the university level and then moved into elementary education. Teaching kids has made a huge difference for me. It’s such a gift to be able to reach out for them and help them flourish!

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Are we just here to bore each other?

Meetings, presentations, speeches, ceremonies, etc. can be interesting; Most, however, not so much. I know that not everything can be exciting all the time. That is a given. However, I often wonder why we, as humans, continue to bore each other with long ceremonies, drawn out meetings, and uninteresting speeches/presentations. Can we at least question the value of how we do many of these things? Can we change some of these things or are we just here to bore each other?

I’m still here, thinking.

I haven’t blogged much lately. However, I did have a very productive blogging period from January to April. I don’t have much to say right now but I’m still here, thinking. The end of the year is always busy with exams, paper work, etc. I am tired. We have lots of daylight, too. This always throws off my sleeping habits a little. I am sleepy a lot, as well as my students. But I’m still here.

Having a little fun: I got a Pie in the Face.

Here is a little fun I had while visiting Montreal recently. Yes, I get a pie in the face.

A Short Conversation With…Shawn Ram @sram_socrates

Shawn Ram

How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for twelve years and have taught all grades and subjects from grade one up to grade eleven.

Has your educational philosophy changed since you began teaching?
My educational philosophy has grown placing more emphasis on student achievement and understanding, rather than the completion of a set of objectives. In addition I have realized that the use of technology is not to be a novelty that is one used for projects and research, but that technology is a learning tool that helps students in their understanding of concepts. There is also a very large emphasis in my philosophy on relationships, not just relationships with colleagues and with parents, but more importantly relationships with the students in my classroom and in the halls of the school.

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A Short Conversation With…Katie Hellerman @theteachinggame

Katie Hellerman

How long have you been teaching?
About six years if you put it all together. I pretty much have taught all ages: two years high school, one year middle school, two years teaching sustainable design courses to adults, and a whole lot of junior kindergarten through high school substitute teaching in between.
Out of all of those, I think I learned the most being a substitute teacher. As a sub, you have to get really good at thinking on your toes and building trust quickly.

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5 Quick Things about…@newfirewithin

Justin Stortz

1. Old -school NES games (along with The Simpsons) are near and dear to my heart. So much of my childhood is buried in that 8-bit contraption. It makes me warm and fuzzy. I still play them on my Android phone. Some of my faves were /are Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, StarTropics, Contra, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Mega Man 2, Super Dogde Ball, hmmm. I could probably go on, but I won’t.

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