Monday, July 29, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted: Goals for Next Year

Post-India post #2!!

It's nice to get back to blogging and what better way to do it than to join Latoya for Let's Get Acquainted.  I am a tad late, but hey, I'm still on India-time.  Hehe.  By the way, stay tuned for another journal entry about my experiences there.

This weeks' theme is Goals for Next Year.  I really like this because if I post these goals, I feel more accountable to them and will hopefully follow through.

Goal 1: Behavior Management
I am trying to figure out a new system of behavior management, since last years crashed and burned.  Okay, it wasn't that bad, but it did not work very well.  I need to find something that I can fully embrace and implement consistently.  Consistency is a huge challenge for me.  Also, I want to foster internal motivation, rather than having students rely on stickers and prizes all the time.  

All that being said, here are some of the ideas I am considering.  I welcome feedback.

My first choice option is a clip chart like this awesome one from Jaime at Bright Concepts for Teachers.

I would love to have a daily behavior chart to go along with this, so the parents are constantly aware of their child's behavior.  I have been using a sticker chart, but that requires so much work and time at the end of every day.  I was thinking of having the kids color a box each day to show how they did.  However, I don't want to go too overboard. 

My other option is a compliment system where students each have their own compliment chart on their desks.  They earn compliments and then go the prize box when they fill their chart.  As the year continues, there are more spaces on the compliment chart.  My colleague who uses this says its great because each child is accountable to himself or herself only.  I like that, but I also do not know how to include consequences in this system.  Of course, I use logical consequences and have kids take breaks, but how would I inform parents of the students' behavior?

Also, I have been using team marble jars and would like to keep using them.  However, I don't want to have too many systems going at once.  Should I keep using the marble jars?  Only use them and no other system?

What do you all think?  

Goal 2: Daily 5 Procedures

Now that I am back from India and have time to work on school projects, I would love to really research and plan for some new Daily 5 procedures.  Last year was my pilot year and while some things worked well, others need to be tweaked.  I plan to do some serious blog and Pinterest research. 

Goal 3: Keep My Desk Organized

As I shared in a previous Tricks of the Trade post, my desk is often a mess.  I really want to do a better job of organizing it this year.  You can read more about my ideas for doing this here.

Speaking of Tricks of the Trade, after a two week hiatus, it is back.  This week's theme is Classroom Jobs, so start thinking about what tips and tricks you can share this Thursday.

Now, it's time for another edition of Left My Heart in Hyderabad.  As of this moment, I have decided to use that to title all of my future India posts.  Hehe.  Also, I will only be sharing snippets of journal entries because I do not want to bore or overwhelm anyone.

Day One: Orientation and Sarah's Orphans

My first glimpse of India came through the dark plane window.  Scattered lights spread out across the black land.  I could not contain my excitement as the plane lowered closer and closer towards the lights.  After a crazy long and complicated 24 hours of travel, we were finally in India!  Wahoo! 
Our first few hours in country were super chill.  We went through customs, got our bags, met our host Paul, and rode 45 minutes to the hotel.  Surprisingly, we even got to take a short nap before breakfast.  I guess that is because we landed at 4:00 a.m. and got to the hotel at 7:00 a.m.  It did not hurt to start our day at 9:00 a.m.  In fact, it was nice to recharge a bit.

After breakfast we drove to the lake and spent some time drinking chai (yum!) and listening to Mary, our host, tell stories about Hyderabad.  She told us that the city has two main parts, Hyderabad and Secunderabad, separated by the lake.  The city is growing so much that it is incorporating all of the little villages around it.  

Hussain Sagar Lake
The statue in the middle of the lake is Buddha.  The original one sank when it was installed, so they had to remake it 10 times bigger and work hard to stabilize it.  Now, it can be seen from afar and visited by boat.  Mary also explained that for many years the lakeside was a place of darkness where many people committed suicide.  The church began to pray for the light to come and now it is a booming area of shops, movie theaters etc.  God has brought the light to a formerly dark area. 
I fell in love with chai!
At Pastor Sudhaker’s house, we spent hours trying to stay awake while Mary told us the fascinating story of how she and Paul met, worked together at YWAM for years, disliked each other, prayed about being together, and then heard confirmation from others that they should marry.  What an encouraging story of seeking God first and faithfully waiting for Him! 

Next, the orphan girls living with Pastor Sudhaker's daughter Mary and her husband arrived and started doing henna on all of our arms.  It was so relaxing to just sit back and watch Suma draw intricate designs on my arm.  I was amazed by how talented she and the other girls were.  Check out their awesome work!

After everyone was covered in henna, we all spent some time talking and laughing with the girls.  I sat and talked with Pranitha for a while.  She told me that her father had been a drinker who died of kidney problems.  Then, her mother was hit by a vehicle and killed.  Pranitha and her older brother were on the streets for 5 days until Pastor Sudhaker took them and Pranitha began living with Sister Sarah.  Now, Pranitha has God as her Heavenly Father and praises Jesus every day.  She loves Psalm 23.  I was filled with joy to hear her hope.
Hema is one of 6 children whose mother died when they were young.  I did not hear what happened to her father.  Hema was taken in by Sister Sarah and now knows God.  Her two older sisters are married and her 2 older brothers work in shops.  Her other brother is at a different orphan care site. 
Both Pranitha and Hema captured my heart and filled me with joy and hope.  Thanks to God they are now my sisters!  When I asked to pray for her, Pranitha had me repeat a prayer back to her in Telegu.  How cool is that?!  
It was hard to say goodbye to the girls tonight.  I can't want to see them again next week!


  1. Hey Becky,
    Glad to hear that your trip to India was so inspiring! The stories of these children remind us that hope and love can conquer anything that we're facing. I'll be following your posts! I LOVE your henna- beautiful :)
    God Bless,
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  2. What an awesome testimony, Becky! I love your little India snippets - keep em coming! :) Your Henna looked so cool! I will be praying for Paul, Mary, Pastor Sudhaker, Pranitha and Hema.

    Joy in the Journey

  3. I think all teachers could work on your goal #3. By the end of my day my desk is horrible looking too! Thanks for sharing!