Smiles and Chocolate

@TeachThought is sponsoring another monthly challenge, this one based on gratitude. I am looking forward to continuing my reflections this month.

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Some of the best aspects of teaching aren't tangible. It's the comfort students feel when they're in my room. They know me pretty well now and understand they can take risks in my classroom. They also know that put-downs aren't allowed. This goes a long way to making Room 902 a place to get viewpoints out in the open during discussion. I reiterate that all opinions are valued and meaningful. Students practice debate and discussion skills while using historical evidence to support their viewpoints. 

I also appreciate being appreciated. Middle School students aren't going to come out and tell me that they appreciate me but they do it subtly--a smile or a returned "I'm fine, how are you" is all that I need to tell me they value being in my classroom, too. The little things are big things when you teach teenagers!

One small delight I look forward to each day is catching up with a colleague. I keep a bag of chocolate in her room and I stop in at some point during our common prep hour to share some chocolate and talk (we are both too busy to chat for too long, though). We know that we could easily keep our own chocolate in our own classrooms--the point is the discussion. She is a wonderful support system and I value our talks. She is a fantastic teacher and terrific friend. #reflectiveteacher

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