Time to change

I will not….
…reprimand students for using cell phones in class for non-educational purposes..  Clearly my lesson was not engaging enough and I need to work harder to help you find meaning in my class.
…keep talking.  Too much of today was me talking.  You need to do as much of the teaching as I do.
…stop you from asking questions that interest you.  If I can find a way to make the material relate to what we are doing, I will do so.  Clearly the topic is important enough for you to ask a question about it so I need to give it some attention.
…write referrals for bad behavior.  Sometimes kids are kids and you can’t control your urges. Students who act out do so because they are bored or need some more attention.  I guess we are back to the lack of engagement topic again.
…force you to do it my way.  I am not the expert on you.  Who am I to tell you how you should learn?  If you need the ipod to help with your ADHD, then use it.  If you want to use a 3-ring binder or a notebook or a shoebox to keep your papers organized, then go right ahead.  Now, if it is not working, then listen to my suggestions to help you improve.
…punish you for being late to class.  Things happen that are out of your control that cause you to get delayed. Get here as fast as you can and get right to work.
…allow you to eat in class.  I mean, it is a chemistry lab and there are certain safety rules we need to keep.  However, I know your teenage world revolves around food so I will do my best to incorporate it into as many lessons as I can.

I will…
…ask you to think critically.
…spark that imagination and creativity that sometimes gets shoved to the side in school.
…force you out of your comfort zone.
…ask you to trust me.
…ask you to take risks.
…make the information as meaningful as possible.
…let you use the technology as much as I do.
…find a way to have class outside once in awhile.
…trust you.

These things I owe to you as your teacher.

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