Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Pre-Transplanted Dad-- "Resolute Beginnings..."

     While I am swamped with professional development and preparing to teach 7th grade for the first time, please enjoy this fitting entry from my previous blog. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

Resolute Beginnings...

The new year is a month old. If you’ve kept up with your resolution(s), give yourself a pat on the back! (Unless your resolution was to stop being self-congratulatory, of course.)  My resolutions were to do something productive that involves writing and to stop procrastinating. I started this blog yesterday, so it looks like I’ve been more successful with the former than the latter.  While the new year started thirty days ago for most of the world, among high school teachers, the start of the second semester brings much more “new” than the first of January.  While "new semester resolutions" don’t figure prominently into discussions among teachers, we do view the new semester as a chance to build new bridges with the less successful students in our year-long classes, and, for those who teach semester long courses, to start things off on the best note possible with those incoming students.

When I meet new students, I consider how I would want my son to act toward a teacher upon meeting him or her for the first time.  First and foremost, I would want him to speak one-on-one with the teacher, if only for a brief introduction.  I know that many teachers initiate this, but for those that don’t, I hope he is willing (whether he’s completely comfortable doing so or not) to take a moment and speak directly to the teacher. Perception fuels reality, and I want him to realize that first impressions are very important-- according to studies, like this from Web MD and this from Science Daily (which focuses specifically on student / teacher interactions) they tend to be quite accurate too.  Of course, first impressions do have the potential to be wrong, but they are certainly hard to shake.  I hope that my son, who is currently carefree enough to greet nearly everyone at the grocery store, particularly if the person bears even a remote resemblance to my father or father-in-law, will be able to able to hold onto a sliver of that trait and unabashedly connect with his teachers, but refrain from writing his first impression of them in stone.  So, I resolve to help my son become this sort of person.  But, unlike a New Year's resolution, this one won't be deemed a success or failure by the time the groundhog sees his shadow.

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