I was fortunate enough to attend a Whole Brain Teaching Midwest Conference over the summer at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio where Coach B himself taught hundreds of eager teachers the basics of Whole Brain Teaching. I have been a fan of Whole Brain Teaching since the summer after college graduation. I was fortunate enough to be hired in a local school district immediately after graduating so I had the whole summer to prepare for my new position as a 3rd grade teacher. I will never forget the advice given to me by a veteran teacher that summer: "The most important thing you can do is have a behavior system in place before school starts." If I wouldn't have received that piece of advice, I wouldn't have scoured the internet looking for any and all behavior advice I could find which ultimately led me to wholebrainteaching.com.
More about the conference:
Scored 3rd row seats!
I invited my mentor teacher to the 2 day conference because she had made comments all throughout the school year about how she has never seen a first year teacher with the kind of classroom management skills I had, and each time she'd share her amazement I would say, "It's not me, it's Whole Brain Teaching!" So when I heard about the conference, I immediately made her jump on the bandwagon and come along with me.
The Whole Brain Teaching Midwest Conference was broken into two days. Day 1 Chris Biffle focused on Classroom Management. Day 2 was more focused on designing lessons and delivering them WBT style. Coach B would start the session then we broke up by grade levels. Chris Rekstad took the upper elementary teachers and shared how he uses WBT in his classroom. I was impressed with his Super Improver Wall in which students are consistently trying to beat their personal best.
Those 2 days were the most fun my mentor and I have ever had at a teacher workshop-that may not mean a lot coming from a 2nd year teacher, but my mentor has been teaching for 15 years!
Prior to attending the Midwest Conference, I had implemented the 5 rules, class/yes, scoreboard, ten finger woo and "it's cool," and hands & eyes for 1 school year. After attending the conference I felt like I was ready to dive deeper into WBT. I now have a Super Improver's Wall, incorporate teach/okay, practice cards, mirror, mirror words, the Genius Ladder, and the Crazy Professor Reading Game (more about that later!). I was also able to spread some of WBT to my team and we now implement the 5 rules and practice cards in each classroom. Which is more than I could ask for!
Whole Brain Teaching is starting to spread in my school. Elements here and there such as the class/yes and teach/okay can be heard while walking down the hallways.
For more information on Whole Brain Teaching visit the WBT Website. Or watch this video to start implementing WBT in your classroom (even if it's in the middle of the year!)
I'll leave you with a picture I took at Walsh University on day 2 of our conference!