Since we’re just a few days away from 2008 I feel compelled to write this post before the year ends. This is has been an incredible beginning to the school year for me as a teacher. I ask myself what it is that has worked so well this year that didn’t work well last year. Is it because I have a different group of kids, maybe with fewer behavior issues? Or is it because I have more supportive parents this year? Or is it because now I have doors in my classroom rather than an open pod? Maybe it’s all of these things put together that have made the difference but over which I have no control. However, I also want to think that I had a little hand in our coming together as a classroom so far this year. So, what am I doing differently this year? First of all, I have implemented a morning meeting that is sacrosanct. The kids expect it and when we miss a part of it they notice. I am taking baby steps when teaching procedures and demonstrations before expecting the kids to plunge in and show proficiency and independence. All in all, I think that I am a better teacher this year because I am taking the time to make sure that my students are more caring towards each other than the group I had last year. As a result, they are more willing to do the “right thing” rather than waiting to be told what to do. They are more willing to take risks and try things out. We are a community of learners that cares about each other.