Behind the Scenes of My Full Course: Inspiration, Goals, and a Sneak Peek! (I wish you could see me smiling about this!)

Just kidding…here I am, smiling about this post! (But actually Mike caught me taking a selfie timer on the back of my car #busted)

**Early registration for Designing Your Dream Classroom From September to June IS OPEN until Friday, August 2nd to get your free bonus offer! Read on to find out more!**

Showing off students’ amazing nerdiness is a must!

Hey everyone! I’m so excited and relieved to be working on this post for you today because it means I accomplished my goal of creating a full course designed to support my teacher people. (If you’re just meeting for me for the first time, pop on over to this post where I share a bit more about me!) Even though I love to help other teachers in person whenever I can, the thought of compiling what I know into an actual course was super overwhelming. But I felt pulled by this force telling me it’s my time to give back and connect bigger, so here I am, showing up for you! If you’re ever starting to hear that little voice in your head too, try to nurture it rather than shush it away. We’re capable of 100 times more than we think even if we have no road map or perfectly laid out plan. Hell, even if you’re not sure what step one is, just listen to your inner voice for a while and it’ll lead you out of the weeds. So let’s get into the behind the scenes and the bonus I have ready for you!

The Inspiration: At the beginning of last school year, there were changes in:

our administration

school schedule,

and school structure as a whole.

We were required to use new instructional practices in our classrooms without enough time to understand them fully or practice before students arrived in August. Administrators resigned or transitioned elsewhere throughout the year. I also taught a group of students with needs I had never experienced before (combinations of English Language Learners with Special Education students and students with limited or interrupted formal education, many of whom were boys suffering from trauma) and immediately realized that everything I thought I knew in order to reach them wasn’t enough.

So as it often does, it felt like year 1 all over again for me. I watched new teachers flounder and beg for help in their classrooms during a year when we just didn’t have the consistency in our leadership or the resources to provide them with support staff.

Teachers started to turn to other teachers more regularly for counsel, advice, resources, and support and I found myself answering the same handful of questions or comforting the same pain points with my colleagues. Those questions and pain points are now the sections of my course because I know if I was feeling them, I’m pretty sure you are, too. If we were to sit down together today and chat, the course is exactly the advice I’d give and the resources I’d send in a link to your email.

The Goals: Designing Your Dream Classroom is about giving teachers:

routines

procedures

materials

and resources necessary to lay a solid foundation to their classroom culture.

These routines are centered around what I found are our biggest “pain points” in the classroom: classroom management, peer feedback, active listening and discussion, and authentic community building. I firmly believe that routines and procedures are the #1 influence in a classroom that feels joyful, safe, and academically challenging and I sweat those details heavily because they have saved my sanity in the past, honestly. To break those foundations down a little more:

Classroom management: You’ll learn routines and receive guides and resources to hold restorative conversations with students in order to practice a positivity-forward approach to classroom management. While it’s important to develop proactive approaches in your management toolkit, this section of the course equips you with what to do when you struggle to build a relationship, or when the same behaviors persist, or when you feel like something more can be done to connect.

Grab your free copy of my restorative conversations guide on this post!

Peer-feedback and Faster Grading: Imagine cutting down your grading time dramatically without sacrificing quality. In fact, imagine spending less time hunched over stacks of paper and students knowing more precisely what they need to improve on in their next draft or assignment.

Imagine saying to your class, “give your partner excellent feedback”, and every student knowing what that means, what that looks like, and having the confidence to give it. Help your students connect with each other’s work in any subject area.

My 9th grader uses her Performance Criteria feedback checklist to confidently revise her analysis paragraph during our In the Time of the Butterflies unit!

“I like it, it’s good” had plagued my classroom for years when I asked my students to give feedback. Peer-feedback had a reputation for being a “humanities thing only” and something teachers only started to focus on in upper middle school. You’ll learn the one clear, simple routine I swear by, download my feedback template (editable), and I’m giving you the lesson I taught to roll out what excellent feedback is, how to give it, AND how to immediately evaluate whether students are nailing it!

The tiny addition of a transition phrase at the start of her paragraph shows me she is using her Performance Criteria checklist successfully before submitting this work for a grade! Plus, this checklist cut my grading down to just a couple minutes max.

Active Listening and Discussion: Ever feel like you’re the one listening the hardest in your classroom? Ever feel like your students are good talkers but can’t summarize what the person before them said? Or maybe that they weren’t really listening at all and were just waiting for their chance to get their ideas out? We have the power to change that, but we have to explicitly teach this skill and track their growth in a visible way. In this section of the course you’ll receive my tried-and-true Accountable Talk sentence stems–they’re the first thing I make and hang on my wall every September and the first thing I harp on when a new year begins. You’ll learn how to model the language you want to hear your students use and trust me, before you know it, they’ll be the ones pointing at the posters reminding one another what to say when they’re stuck.

The first posters to go up in my room every year are these Accountable Talk sentence starters. Total confidence buildings for shy talkers and all students when they have a great idea but need some help organizing their thoughts verbally!

Authentic Community Building: There are hundreds of ways to build community in your classroom, and it starts with deciding what that word means to you exactly. You’ll reflect on what a classroom with strong community looks like and sounds like to you. Let those beliefs ground you in the final stage of your course work. I’m sending you the most successful lesson I ever taught when it came to getting my kids to share their opinions, listen, take notes, share what they learned from one another, and give shout outs. Honestly, this was my favorite section to compile for you because I can’t wait to do this again but wayyyy earlier this school year!

The details and bonus offer: This course is designed to be completed at your own pace, and could be completed in a day if you wanted to sit down and get it all done at once!

When you register between 7/15-8/2 I’m doing something I love to do, and that’s help other educators by keeping things real about our classrooms and being solutions-and-action oriented. In me you’ll find an ear to listen and a person with a wealth of resources and ideas that will show you what you’re already doing well and how to capitalize on those things. You’re working hard, but sometimes it can feel like you’re doing so much without the payoff you want, right? I’ll be the fresh set of eyes.

You’ll be invited to sign up for three 15-minute Zoom calls with me to use whenever you’d like as you make your way through the course, before you start, or after you finish. Your choice! We can chat about anything that’s on your mind–clarifications about your course, how things are going in your classroom, ideas you want a thought-partner on, anything! Think of it as us meeting up for coffee or wine (I love both).

Pricing: I have payment plans ready for you guys. Here are your options!

Option 1: One-time payment of 247 dollars

Option 2: 3 monthly payments of 97 dollars

There you have it! Here’s that link again! As always you can reach me via email (cobbleandbrick@gmail.com) and social (@cobbleandbrick) if you have any questions or want to know more or would like to be added to my email list for updates, freebies, and bonuses! Thank you so much for being here and I’ll talk to you guys soon!

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