home New Teacher Find a File Folder…

Find a File Folder…

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Choose a favorite color or decorate it so it is easy to find. Keep it close, maybe in the front of a desk or file cabinet drawer.

When there’s a breakthrough for a student who struggles, a great reaction from the class to an activity that took a LOT of planning, or an aha moment for a capable student who may be hard to challenge, jot a quick note to yourself, add the date, and drop it in the file.

When a student or parent sends a positive note, add the date and the student’s full name (if it’s not in the note). Drop it in the file.

When your principal or a colleague shares a great story or feedback, add that to your file folder.

cards 3Then, when it’s been a rough day, when a plan goes awry, or someone makes your work just a bit more difficult than it has to be, take out your file folder and revisit all the positive notes, stories, and feedback you’ve received from the people around you!

You’ve chosen to do one of the most amazing jobs on the planet but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy!   😉

5 thoughts on “Find a File Folder…

  1. If you want to gather a bundle of notes, don’t use rubber bands, they dry out and crumble over time. Tie them with string or ribbon.

  2. Great idea! After the inevitable rough days that happen on occasion, sometimes you need a pick-me-up. I know I’m guilty of forgetting why I love teaching so much in those challenging times. If the awesome moments are not written down or saved, it is crazy how quickly they are forgotten. Love the idea!

  3. Starting another file folder for positive student interactions can help you at the beginning of the year with the all-important first positive parental contact. The years when I was organized enough to send a positive note to parents in the first month, it really paid off. Sometimes I got a positive note back and often it made giving more downbeat information about student conduct later in the year go more smoothly.

    You can rely on handy euphemisms for these notes (“independent spirit”, “creative approach to lessons”) but having specific examples of positive student actions goes a lot farther –” today I saw her helping a friend with reading”; “he was the first student to finish the problem correctly”; etc…

    This is where the file folder can come in. Sitting down after school to write the notes, my mind was often a blank. If I jotted down notes as I noticed the behavior, I had a resource to draw on.

    Sending the positive feedback early to parents also helped me see more positive actions in the students as the year wore on. I was able to remember on tough days that there is always more than one side to a student.

    1. You’re right, a positive first contact with a parent goes a long way to establishing a good rapport with parents. I found this to be especially true with middle school parents who worry about their child during what can be challenging years for both parent and child. I appreciate your suggested comments, both general and specific. Here are more examples from Genia Connell at Scholastic.com to add to your choices.

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