Today I went ahead and purchased the Webinar for The Cornerstone. If you haven't read The Cornerstone, you're missing out. Angela is a genius.
Really, she's a teacher. She's taught in the inner city areas and has had many different experiences from the DC area to Florida and now in New York as she is working as a consultant. When it first came out, my interest was definitely piqued. I've been an avid fan of her website since before I became a teacher and once she published her book, I knew I had to have it. There are a lot of great strategies and tips in there, even for more seasoned teachers.
One reason I looked back into purchasing the Webinar is because I'm thinking ahead a bit to next year. Since I decided to stay positive and assume I am going to be at Current School, in 5th grade, until I hear anything to the contrary, I know that I need to start rehoning some of my procedures and thinking ahead. The current 4th graders are a disorganized and rambunctious bunch. While I love both of the female 4th grade teachers, I also know that their students run their classrooms. They are lovely and great at teaching but management is not the best. They are what I refer to as "soft"...they don't really seem to know how to really lay down the law and set the tone for the expectations in the room.
I know that I am going to have to be a lot tougher next year than I have had to be this year. So I dug out my copy of The Cornerstone and purchased the Webinar (which I got for a wicked discount since I have the book, yay me!). I've only downloaded the note-taking guide and watched the Introduction which is only 10 minutes and I'm already certain this is going to be a FAB-U-LOUS decision on my part.
I think we can always improve, no matter who we are or how long we have been teaching. If I have learned anything in my 5 years as a teacher, it is that what works for one child or group of children, may not necessarily work for another child or group of children. You have to look at things objectively and make changes when and if necessary to help children be the best they can be.
I'm really excited to watch the rest of the Webinar and see what new thinking I can get, not only to tighten up some things THIS year, but also to get myself mentally ready for NEXT year.