I recently discovered this quote, and I just can't shake it. It's hauntingly brilliant to me, if that makes any sense. It's so wonderful I wish I were its creator. In 18 words Paul Bambrick has summed up what a teacher's world is all about during the first several weeks of school. Make that months or why not just all year? It all starts on day one though.
On the first day of school I have a special tradition. I always let one of my best secrets out of the bag. "Guess what kids? Don't tell anybody, but Mr. Graves always sends me the best kids in the whole school." I then proceed to spend the rest of the year teaching them how to be the best kids. Before they even show up, I have a vision in my head of what that looks like, but I must remind myself that these little people can't read my mind. They must be shown what excellence looks like, over and over. When I just assume that they know what excellence is, I might end up with big pink erasers that have been attacked by pencil tips or that are dismantled in shreds on the floor under desks. (Not that that's ever happened in my classroom. Ugh.) They need me to repeatedly teach them to be the class I want - the best kids in the whole school. The excellence I'm looking for is a habit. It's my job to teach it daily.