Hope Dealer

I have 18 teenage boys in my 6th period remedial reading class. No Girls.

The district didn't have enough money last year. They pulled me from 1st Grade to teach High School.

I tried to be Edward James Olmos and help them Stand and Deliver.

I tried to be Michelle Pheiffer and help their Dangerous Minds.

You're "Waiting for Superman" SO AM I...

How do you motivate the unmotivated?

It was a Red Velvet Cheesecake for dinner kind of day.

Tell me Blogger Family:
  • Tell me about your Favorite HS teacher.
  • How did they motivate, encourage, and inspire?


  1. joanna, you should talk to jalyn. from the stories she tells me, alot of her students confide in her, which says alot about how much they trust her. i know she has her periods with bad students too though, so I'm sure she has some experience she can share with her. hang in there!

  2. I have worked in those schools. Relationships and letting them know you care are the only ways I could get them to do anything. Encourage and explaining that I need their help, and profusely, regularly celebrating their positives or achievements. It is exhausting...when in doubt food works sometimes.

  3. Mr. K was my high school American History teacher. He was SO passionate about American history, each day bringing in a new book or some kind of tidbit from his collection.

    I work with kids who have special needs (but mine are much younger). It's all about reinforcement. See what they want to work for and then reinforce for every little positive thing to gain momentum. When they're really rolling, pull back a bit and do some more intermittent reinforcement.

    (That is the behavioral therapist in me talking. You probably already do this, but I have to suggest it anyway!)

  4. We're almost done! Three weeks and then finals. So, the million dollar question, what if that's where they put yo next year?

    And seriously, just remember, it's not you, it's them! Did I mention three weeks and then finals?

  5. My first year of teaching high school, I had a similar class--thirteen boys and one girl. All of the boys were great friends with each other, too. They got me off track a lot and they probably didn't learn as much as they should, but I just tried to enjoy them. Those boys are grown ups now and one even found me on Facebook and wrote me a nice message.

    My middle schoolers respond well to positive reinforcement and silly stuff like "Grammar Guru." If they catch an error in a handout, Powerpoint, book, etc, I get really excited and yell, "You're a grammar guru!" They get smarties (because they're so smart!) They actually really love this, even though it is dorky.

  6. I think my best teachers (though they were few and far between) were the ones who really had passion for their jobs and truly wanting students to learn! Good luck!


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