I Did That One Thing …

We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

As a middle school teacher, one of the things that is a major pain point in my day is missing work. Class time is provided, support is given, and expectations are set; however, students do not complete the work on time or give it a second thought outside of the classroom. The second pain point in my day are the questions that follow: when are you going to grade that one thing or I turned in that one thing, can you grade it? My response first and foremost is that if you want a grade on time, you will need to turn it in on time.

To prepare in advance and to make this less of a daily hassle I have created a Google Form entitled, I Did That One Thing … this allows students to tell me what missing assignment has been completed, their class period, give a reason it was late (this information can be valuable), and ask any questions they may have on the material that was in the assignment. You may make a copy of this google form for your classroom here.

In addition to the form, I also created the boundary that it will be graded by Friday. If I have time throughout the week, I will remove the missing assignment from the grade book and mark it as completed. But I do set the expectation that it will be updated by the next time our weekly progress reports are out.

Note, I only have this form for those items in our online learning platform, Schoology (which is most graded assignments). Anything completed on paper, shall be turned into the bin at the front of the room and will be handled similarly. I am thinking that the next school year, I will include all assignments, as this provides consistency, a timestamp, and a way for students to communicate why it is missing, as well as a section for questions that they may have. I believe that this process should be taught at the beginning of the school year, so I do not want to change it midway.

What can you prepare in advance to avoid your tanks getting empty? What pain points in your day sometimes make grace, patience, or kindness hard to come by? Please share in the comments below.

Until next time …

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Mindfulness Moments in the Classroom

Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Genesis 2:7

In the course, Trauma Informed Education Journey Part 1 (at IEA Summer Institute), I was reminded of the importance of taking a moment to breathe. I am implementing a mindfulness moment within each class period every day to give students and myself a time to practice our breathing. Using a variety of different mindfulness activities, such as the Breathe Bubble from Calm, to guide us through. I will use the same activity throughout the week to give students a chance to practice and become comfortable with the activity, understanding that this may be new and awkward. I presume that some students will not be interested in this at first (or at all) so I will encourage them to sit quietly as others participate. I look forward to the increased amounts of concentration, sustained attention, and comfort this exercise will provide the classroom environment this year.

How have you added mindfulness to your classroom? Did you see the benefits in the activity? Please share in the comments below.

Until next time …

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