Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Teaching Quirk

Quirks. Oh, boy.

There is not enough space in all of the dub dub dub (world wide web) to describe my quirks. As my very favorite teaching friend The Crazy Schoolteacher once told me, "It will take a special, special man to put up with you and all of  your quirks for the rest of his life." Seriously. That happened.

So, naturally, I'm linking up with I Heart Grade 3 and her Weekly Summer Link-Up. This week, you guessed it, is all about teaching quirks!

I'm sure that my first grade teammates, my past students and their parents can tell you a laundry list of quirks about me as a teacher. But, I'll narrow it down to two quirks.

Quirk #1

The first teaching quirk that comes to mind is my classroom signals. My other first grade teachers make comments regarding my signals. "Oh, I bet you have a signal for that!" Seriously, whatever they're referring to, I do probably have a signal. In my classroom, I love signals! Why would I want to interrupt our learning flow to address something silly like allowing a child to use the restroom? Also, with signals, students can express their very, very, very, very important ideas without us interrupting our learning twenty-six times. Most of the signals each year arise naturally, and they're often kid-created. For example, this past year, I found myself saying "It's your job to worry about you. It's my job to worry about everyone." So, finally, one day, I said that I was tired of saying that all the time. The students suggested that we come up with a signal. So, voila! We decided that when I tapped my brain and then my chest, it meant, "Worry about yourself."

That's just one example! We have signals for bathroom breaks, pencil sharpening, "I'm thinkin' what you're thinkin'," "I didn't know that!," and sooo many more. Signals help keep our learning flowing naturally, and it helps reinforce our classroom community with signals that act as "talk moves" and help us to deepen our discussions.

Quirk #2

The other big teaching quirk that sticks out to me is my overuse of the word "friends." I refer to my students as "friends." I didn't realize this until last school year after my principal was in my classroom for an observation. At the end of the day, as we were walking to the buses, I heard my principal call a group of students "friends." Then, she said, "Oh! I just called you all 'friends' - I sound just like Miss Cannady!"

I assume that this quirk came about because I do not like addressing my students as "kids." I certainly am not a fan of "kiddos." Please, don't hate me if you're a kiddo-er. It's just not my cup of tea.

I use this word without even knowing that I'm doing it now -- both in and out of the classroom, among children and adults alike. The cashier at Hobby Lobby? She's a friend. The baseball player on TV? He's a friend. The crazy lady pumping gas in her pajamas and wet hair? Also a friend. My actual real-life adult friends? Yes, I call them friends. Out loud. To their faces. Oops.

What's YOUR teaching quirk? Can you pick just one?


  1. I like the idea of signals! I feel like first graders would eat it up because it's like a code. And we all know how cool codes are!
    Shine on in First Grade

    1. Sarah,
      I love signals. I can't imagine life without them!

  2. Hi Kristen!

    What a great post! Love the humour in it!

    Thanks for linking up with me! It's great having you contribute!


    1. Thanks, Monica!
      I love a good linky - thank you for hosting!