Friday, January 8, 2016

Hey there!  My name is Chad Arnett and I am a third grade teacher in Southwest Ohio.  You may know me from Mr. Arnett’s Creative Classroom but in 2016 I’m becoming The Arnett Gazette. I couldn’t be more excited to be joining The Guys of Primary blog!  Can I let you in on a little secret? This is my first blog post…ever! I’ve often thought about getting into the teacher-blogger world, but I always felt too shy. Although I am new to the blogging world, I am definitely not new to the teaching world! I am in my thirteenth year of teaching.  My first ten years were spent teaching in a self-contained second grade classroom, and after the building where I worked was closed, I moved to a new building and began teaching third grade and our school’s gifted program.  

My classroom...just like Disney World!

Teaching is what I have always wanted to do with my life.  I grew up around schools and school children.  My mom worked in a special needs classroom for over twenty years.  She used to take me to her room and let me work with her students.  I even had the chance to lend my voice to a machine that was used by one of her students who was unable to speak.  Considering all of the wonderful experiences I was able to have in that classroom, it should have come as no surprise that when my third grade teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I responded “a teacher”.

I wanted to be a teacher because I always dreamed of having the chance to challenge students the way my wonderful teachers had challenged me growing up. I live to come up with new and exciting activities that get my students up, moving, and having a great time.  I love the feeling I get when one of my students figures something out for the first time.  Seeing that look of excitement and satisfaction is what I look forward to each morning when I step into my building. I take pride in being able to take students from where they are and moving them as far forward as I can during the year that I have them. In my classroom we play hard, but we work even harder!

Mr. Arnett made out of recyclable materials!

As fun and exciting as teaching can be, I understand and embrace the responsibility that I have as a role-model to my students. I’m proud to be a positive influence for children who may not have someone like that in their lives. For many, I am the first experience they have had with a male teacher and I am obligated to make it a positive one. Each new school year provides me with another chance to inspire young learners to do more than they thought they could do. Teaching may be a time-consuming, demanding job, but I can’t imagine doing anything else. I strive each year to be a better teacher.

My New Year’s Teacher Resolutions

Get organized! I have to admit that I’m not the most organized person. In fact, if you asked anyone at my school to describe my room they would probably call it, “chaos by design”. I’m so busy being up and engaged with my students that often my paperwork piles up on my desk, filing cabinets, or near my computer. This year I hope to put an end to my frustrating searches for missing papers by having a designated place for everything, and putting everything in its place. I could save so much time! Maybe it would help with my next resolution…

Don’t forget my lunch! It’s hard teaching on an empty stomach – or on a stomach with nothing but coffee! It seems that ever since my wife and I welcomed our new baby to the world, I have started a frustrating routine of leaving my lunch at home. My co-workers jokingly tell me that I forget on purpose so I have an excuse to visit our local Taco Bell. I can assure you that this is not the case! This year I am determined to not leave my lunch in the kitchen at home where it does me no good.

Try something new! I’ve always tried to be on the cutting edge in the teaching field.  Whenever a new technology comes out, I am right there trying to figure out a way to bring it into my classroom.  My bag of tricks has gotten fairly large over the years, but this year I’m looking to add something new.  Professionally, I have already jumped way out of my comfort zone by entering the blogging world (and of course joining up with the awesome Guys of Primary).  I couldn’t be more excited about the experiences that I am sure to have. I am also (nervously) looking forward to conducting my first live Periscope broadcast.  I have seen the value of this medium, and I’m excited to throw my hat in the ring.

The changes are coming fast and furious inside the classroom as well. My plan for this year is to begin using the Math Workshop model to teach my daily math classes. I taught writer’s workshop for years and loved it! I’m excited to apply the same principles to math and looking forward to getting similar results. The students love it, and it allows me to differentiate the content in a much more user-friendly way. Since I teach everything from IEP students to gifted learners, being able to reach every child at his or her individual level is a must!  If the rest of my year is as positive as it has started, 2016 may be my best year ever!

Add to my hat collection. I like to find at least one new silly hat every year to wear around my classroom. I’m known for my large collection! Nearly 40 hats are enough you say? Nonsense! Here’s hoping I find another one on my next trip to my favorite place on Earth, Walt Disney World!

Love my crazy hats!

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