Don't Smile till Thanksgiving

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Irishdave, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Oct 8, 2007

    Recently I told a new teacher "There is an old adage 'Don't Smile till Thanksgiving' ....... it will help you in your discipline." Before I could explain what it really means another teacher (who has lousy discipline) piped in and said "that's a horrible rule! & I smile all the time"
    DUH!
    I turned to her and asked "have you ever spoken metaphorically?"......
    "It basically means enforce rules and procedures for the first quarter of the school year and the rest of the the year will go smoothly."

    I almost said "Try it you may like it" :naughty:

    How many have heard the saying AND understood what it meant?
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Yes, and yes!
     
  4. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    I guess this was fitting.

    I've been on the harsh side today.............. but I don't teach in a class. SO whats my problem?


    someone send chocolate.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Me too.

    Did she really think you meant it literally?? That you don't crack a smile till the end of November, then come in all smiles and grins after the long weekend???

    THat's part of the reason I'm start my year as I do: I dive into content on that first day. It's all about setting a tone and establishing boundaries.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Hershey's Hugs and Kisses enroute. Let me know when they arrive, OK??:D
     
  7. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    Thanks Alice.

    I know my kids think I'm a mean teacher.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You should enforce rules and procedures ALL year, and you can smile before Thanksgiving. Most people that I've heard use this expression mean to really be somewhat hard and tighten the screws for the first quarter. I think you can promote a positive climate, have fun and still enforce rules.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think Dave's point is that enforcing from the start is the alternative to starting off easy, then trying to enforce the rules at a later point in the year.

    It's SO much easier if you consistently enforce the rules from day 1. Too many teachers concentrate SO much on making their class the most popular, exciting room in the building, and forget that the kids need some structure if they're to learn anything.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My point is that you start day one and continue through the year- not just first quarter. And at the same time you can still create a classroom climate where children are engaged, feel supported, connected and capable, and yes (gasp!!) have some excitement about learning. Not all teachers who use this expression care about the climate- only the rule following.
     
  11. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Oct 8, 2007

    Aball,

    None of us believe you could be a mean teacher!
     
  12. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    As Aliceacc said if you consistently enforce the rules from day one.
    Too many teachers concentrate SO much on making their class the most popular, exciting room in the building, and forget that the kids need some structure if they're to learn anything.

    If you have enforced your procedures from Day One you WILL smile the rest of the year. Many teachers try to be too friendly at the start of the school year and then wonder why the kids get out of hand.
    Remember structure & rules are a very important part of climate AND not climate is a part of rules.
    Humor is a part of climate but you wouldn't want to start the year off with jokes and Tom Foolery.
     
  13. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oh cut the crap and admit it. YOu're all a bunch of old grouches :mad: like me, except I don't smile until Christmas and even then I only turn the corners of my mouth up ever so slightly.:p:lol: :mad: :rolleyes: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  14. daysy_may

    daysy_may Groupie

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    Smiling, what is that????????? lol j/k :lol:and yes I've heard it before and understood what it REALLY meant. :mellow::)
     
  15. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    The other day a student said "I like you better as a shop teacher"
    As a math teacher I have to "force" the kids to stay on task. As a shop teacher I only had to "say" project and the kids would jump into it, they would put up with the "book learn'n " just so they would be able to work with their hands & Tools.
    When I was in school I would take notes in math class just so I could go home and show Dad what I learned in math (Dad was a self taught man finished High School at night, became an executive of a big insurance company) Dad was old school when it came to math, I was taking the new math so new it was a paper back book and the pages were set in a typewriter font this was the 1960s remember. I had motivation from home. I do not see motivation from home like I did when I first started teaching in 1974 or when I was in school back on Long Island (Northport).
    I know I am :hijack: HighJacking my own thread!
    I see some of the teachers who today teach with the "new" methods were the off the wall teachers when I was in school!
    I remember old lady Gange at the time I thought she was the meanest old teacher in the whole world but today I look back and see she was one of my best, her class climate was "sit down, get your book and note book out, lets start" and she taught Math all the "maths" My regents scores in Math were high. I got a Regents scholarship! all because Old Lady Gange, a great teacher. She never smiled till Easter!
     
  16. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    EASTER!!!!!!!HAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I smile and then I STOP myself IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  17. AlliBob

    AlliBob Rookie

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    Don't smile till Christmas is my motto! You have to set up the rules and the procedures or your classroom is going to be crazy. :D
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My experience is that MOST people who use this phrase mean it quite literally:be hard, be strict, hammer on the kids. My point is that it doesn't have to be that way (I think that's your point too, so there's no real disagreement here!) You CAN create a cooperative, caring classroom environment AND teach and reinforce rules and procedures from day one and continue with that model throughout the year. It's not a let up and be nice after the first quarter- you can be firm and fair and still have some fun with the kids for the whole year.
     
  19. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    My dad was a former principal, he use to tell me that you can always lighten up, but it is harder to get tougher or earn back the respect after you loose it. That is why the other students shake when I walk by with my class.:p

    Just kidding, but I was told by the cafeteria manager that she wished more teachers were mean like me!:woot:
     
  20. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    The 2 extremes "sitting around and singing Kumbaya" and "The Wicked Witch of the West" are not what we are talking about.
    If you start from Day one there will be no need to reteach or to clamp down later in the year.
    So czacza we ARE :agreed:

    The Kumbaya singers will have turmoil soon enough and the witches will scare kids into learning (but only short term learning)
    then we have my math teacher who was consistent, she was not a witch just strict:clap:
     
  21. lajoers3

    lajoers3 Comrade

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    Oct 10, 2007

    In Australia because we have year round schooling that starts at the end of January it's always been 'don't smile till Easter' or in my case when I started my current job, because I didn't come until later in the year it was suggested I 'don't smile until term 4'. I also don't take it literally and don't know anybody who does.
     

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