As a new(ish) teacher I'd heard Rick Morris' name but until recently didn't know much about him. I had the opportunity to attend the CTA Good Teaching South conference in Anaheim last month. While there, I attended the 8am bonus session with Rick Morris. And I was hooked immediately. I spent the whole session madly scribbling down notes, snapping pictures of his presentation, and thinking "that is SO true" and "wow, that is amazing". I attended his second session that weekend as well. I took it as my personal mission to learn all he could teach me in three short hours.
Since seeing Rick at the CTA conference I have begun incorporating some of his strategies in my classroom. I'm a firm believer in including my students in classroom decisions because it creates more buy-in and builds a closer classroom community. We talked about the different hand signals and some other new tricks we were going to start using - and I quickly noticed that my class couldn't wait to tell visitors about our new hand signals!
I tweeted a photo of my students using his magnetic numbers and suddenly found myself in conversation with the classroom management guru himself. And then...he was scheduled to visit my classroom. Wait, what? Rick Morris? In my classroom? That sounded totally terrifying, but at the same time, totally awesome!
Rick Morris walked into my classroom and I immediately thought "Oh my God, he's going to see every move I make. He's a guru...oh no!" I was a ball of nerves! You know those times where you don't want to look like you're putting on a dog and pony show but you also don't want to fumble all over the place? Yeah, this was one of those times. Once we got started, I just sat back and prayed my students would remember all the "Rick Morris-y" things we'd learned/talked about! Oh, and I took a lot of pictures too!