I have a new job this fall, so I definitely want to make it fun - I don't think this will take much effort as I love what I am about to do! And, at the same time, it never hurts to keep these foundational ideas in mind. By appreciating others and showing them your appreciation through words and actions you make people's day. I hope to have some back massagers readily available to kids and staff. Be there for me means being attentive, listening, and being patient. Choosing my attitude is usually easy - but there are times when I get grumpy and I need to pay attention and take care of myself when that happens.
Loved your presentation! Thank you. It made my day - no kidding!
Play is exactly what 7th and 8th graders want to do every day! When I taught Spanish, they asked me daily if we were going to play a game. And usually we did!
Teaching language arts is a little harder, but there are still things we can do to play.
I start with a people search at the beginning of the year, which is kind of fun. They have to find someone who traveled out of the country over summer break, someone with an unusual pet, etc.
I like the two truths and a lie also; someone else mentioned that.
Sometimes we play games with vocabulary: Around the World, Fly Swatter, etc.
Sometimes I start with a Word of the Day, and kids have to guess the meaning of the word. Or we play "fictionary," where they make up plausible definitions.
This has been a good reminder for me to play even MORE; at the beginning of the year I'll look up some suggestions for how to incorporate more games in my teaching of language arts!
(And hopefully I'll be a librarian next year and will have to think of new games in the library!)
In My Job, as a 7th and 8th grade LA teacher, this is what I could do each day in each category:
1) Choose Your Attitude: Try to have a positive attitude every day, even if I'm frustrated with a class or particular student! One way to do that is to sit in the car before entering the building, take a deep breath, and remind myself that I will have a good attitude and that it will be a good day!
2) Be Present: It's easy to let your mind drift, especially if you're tired or focused on something else. I have to remind myself daily to be COMPLETELY present for my students. That's the only way to be a good teacher.
3) Play: I'll try to think of one small activity or game we can do every day that feels like play, or at least not work!
4) Make Their Day: I'll try to make one student's day each day, with a compliment or positive attention. Kids, like adults, thrive on individual attention! But I need to make sure that I focus on every student at some point and don't leave anyone out!
Here are a couple of fun, playful activities that I have been fortunate to participate in:
At the middle school in Craig, teachers played a covert type of game at the end of the year. I can't believe we did this but OMG it was a fun way to end the year! And, yes, we had admin. permission...
The activity/game was played out through the course of the last week of school. Students were not a part of this. In fact, the rules stated we could only play before and after school when students were not around. Each participating teacher (not required) was given a little squirty fish (yes actually a fish). The object of the game was to collect others' fishes. The way you did this was to squirt another player before they got you. That person was then OUT and you got their fish. No one knew who was and was not participating.
Hard to describe but OMG we had fun! Brought positive light to the end of the year.
The other fun activity was played a few years ago at my present school. As a warm up to a staff meeting, my principal passed put bags of marshmallows. We got to spend the next few minutes throwing them at colleagues. Not everyone appreciated the antics but I had a blast!
I am incredibly lucky to work at the elementary school that I do because our staff is very close knit and easy going. We have some fun activities to do with kids, such as this year we played an American Idol game with the students where each week you had to guess who would get voted off the show (the one on t.v.). Those who voted correctly stayed in the game and those who didn't were out. We kept track on a bulletin board of who was still in the game and the winner(s) got a prize. We've also put up pictures of teachers when they were young and had the kids vote on who they thought each baby picture was.
I find that it's the after school things that make me happiest in my job though. For instance sometimes teachers will play jokes on each other. One day I came to school and all of my furniture was rearranged and silly things were written all over my windows with marker. The kids got a real kick out of that. Planning pranks on others is just as fun...although we always remember to keep things reasonable and in good taste. I also enjoy the weekend get togethers at people's houses or going out for lunch with a group of people. These are the things that keep me connected with my collegues and make work fun!
Great ideas. I am glad to see so many involved in this thread> One of my Colorado Springs students pointed out that there is a whole network of FISH! devotees. It has some interesting videos and an online forum. http://www.fishphilosophynetwork.com/