I first discovered Whole Brain Teaching in the spring of 2009 when I found the YouTube videos. The videos piqued my interest. It showed classrooms the way I want them to be: fun, engaging, disciplined, and did I say FUN?! I dabbled in a few of the WBT basic procedures the following year. I had some good results...and made some mistakes.
So last summer I read as much as I could, I watched the videos again and again, and was thrilled to participate in the free webcasts. (Did I mention that practically everything WBT is free? Thank you to Chris Biffle and his crew for being committed to the teachers and students, and not just cashing in on this amazing system!) I was determined to tackle the 2010-2011 school year as a Wibbeteer (the fond name for true Whole Brain Teachers). I wish I had started this blog back then and recorded all of the ups and downs, but I will try to go back and capture the highlights as I go on.
It has been an amazing year! I have learned so much! Comparing this year to my five previous years of teaching, I talk much less and the students talk much more. (This is so good for my ESL kids!) I am now more mindful of the students' attention spans and strive to break my teaching into manageable chunks. I encourage cooperative learning every day rather than dreading the thought of "group work". The stress level for me is much lower now that the students understand the procedures so well. I have learned the value of change so that the students do not get complacent. And above all, I have learned how my class can have a blast "within the system" (as WBT co-founder Chris Rekstad likes to say).
I am by no means a WBT expert. I am no Deb Weigel. (I can't wait to read her blog!) But WBT has brought my passion back for teaching. I'm excited to do even better next year! For the first time, I am not considering other career options. And for the first time, I can actually fathom teaching for years to come. Thank you WBT!