Hands Up

Hands Up

by Mr. Redd


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781546255581
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 10/31/2018
Pages: 118
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)

About the Author

James Redd is a retired elementary and gifted, talented teacher where he taught in many school districts in Western City. He guided himself on being unconventional and pleased himself to find unique and creative ways to teach his students based on caring and mutual respect.
He coached Odyssey of the Mind Academic and Stock Market Teams where his students and team received many state awards.
This book reflects what his kids taught him along the way as well as observing his peers and the teaching profession in general. The book is based upon his love for the art of teaching, beyond any profession.

Read an Excerpt


1, 2, 3

There is no substitution for learning math facts, and speed is a necessity.

Mental math is the key to learning the times tables. Give your students ten problems daily to help them build their mental math skills. Start easy, and build up as they progress. Help your students make connections, e.g., solving for 100 + 100 + 100, then 99+ 99+ 99. Mental math is pure joy and it builds confidence.


4 Guys and a Van-Moving Day

One thing they do not teach you in "teacher school" is that some students can and will talk to ANYONE.

Moving day can be a continuing activity for some. In the classroom, a student's neighbor can be an ally or the "enemy". Sometimes you have to change the neighborhoods for your students for them to be successful.


Advertising 101

Okay, you have been chosen to create the hallway bulletin board-I did not say it was an honor, just that you have been picked. Go immediately to the library and to find the latest edition of the teacher's "Mailbox". Don't you dare! Be creative, do something different, brainstorm, use big pictures, include student work, and use a little humor. Hey, it's your ad, be an agency.


A Good Story to Listen To

Once I overheard a coach tell gossiping teachers, in the middle of their gossiping session, that he does not participate in talking about others. This stopped the two gossips in their tracks right then and there. The coach's interjection was effective without being aggressive.

Lesson - all stories should not be shared.


Baby It's Cold Outside {Anecdote}

Okay, it may have been a little nippy outside, but I had to get the students out of the room to burn off some energy. Of course, Mr. Parent called afterward, asking what I was doing taking them outside. I said, I'm glad you called — did you know Joey was failing social studies? Suddenly, Mr. Parent had forgotten about the weather.

Lesson - Parent involvement can always be positive.


Bad Hair Day

Everyone is entitled to one bad hair day, a day where you need some space.

Alright, load that board up with work.

Refuse to answer questions instead refer them to your secretary who isn't in.

Lesson - Noticed I said ONE and grade all the work given.



After years of teaching in your back pocket, you realize you cannot buy all the extra items for your room. Have students use bulletin board paper and cardboard {that you have collected on the weekend}. Ask for old magazines from colleagues and parents. The IRS lets you write off some "chump change", but get serious, you do have a life and family to take care too.


Be Caught In Children's Books

It might look odd to see a grown man in the children's book section of the library or book store, but the most creative people write children's books and many times your best ideas erupt from them. Take Chris Peternelle van Arsdale, for example, who said, "I can think of no more intensely soul-searching time than young adulthood".

The key is using cutting edge books, golden books and books that make kids think. Try incorporating the books into a lesson!


Being Flexible Is Not Just for Physical Education

Never forget, you are not the only one in the room. These kids bring an assortment of ideas and experiences with them as they enter the door. Be open to being a participant instead of the person in charge. Also, be able to laugh at yourself. I know you're a gifted and talented teacher, every teacher is, but who said you know everything?


Before Backpacks

New teachers: Always "pack" your materials and manuals for the next day before you leave to go home. It really impresses your principal, fellow teachers and is so helpful if you need a substitute. You seem like a real gogetter, prepping all night for the next day. Hopefully, you will be able to follow through with all the "packing".


Bench Me

A child wants to talk to you at recess, do not be one of those teachers who says go on and play it is recess. Instead, engage with them if they need to talk, even if it is recess. They could always come by the bench to talk and this way it is not during class time. Are you really too busy to be involved with your students and what is going on in their lives? How about a pep talk?


What Is Your Best Lesson?

Know your best lessons. You know, the ones that leave the principal's mouth wide open and even better the ones that leave the student's eyes light up. For example, I love having the kids read two books at the same time. You have two readers take turns reading from two different books and the rest of the kids take notes-absorbing two books at once. Then, after they are finished reading, they compare and contrast the two books. Talking about developing good listening skills!



Consistently talk to your students about reading. Model reading. Ask students what book they are reading. Acknowledge them when you see them in library. Tell them they can use dead time as reading time, like when they are waiting in the car, in the doctor's office or when riding the bus. Encourage them to read in the hallway while they are in line. Reward them by telling them they can have a Coke on you if you catch them reading in the community. Of course, they'll "holler" at you anywhere they see you and some might even fake reading books just to get the Coke, but that's okay. It's worth it to make them think about reading. Sell reading, you are the bestseller.


The Heart of Your Job

You are their G/T teacher, and you know them better than anyone — or at least you should. Their problems are your problems. They cannot perform at their peak and carry old baggage at the same time. Help them see the light, or find a different way of looking at their problems. This is the heart of your job.


Be Yourself Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Always be yourself and use gifts and talents that are unique to you as a teacher. Please do not carbon copy the teacher next door. Also, you are not the photograph in the teacher's manual. Learn to laugh at yourself. Know that it is okay to be different. Shakespeare's Polonius said said it best, "To thine own self be true".


Outrunning the Competition

As the G/T teacher, it goes with the territory to be different. Model being different in your actions and in your words. Keep your students guessing. Just when they think they have figured you out, it is time to change. This is fast-paced and you must outrun the competition.


Go Hallmark on Them

The Christmas Door Contest is the ultimate challenge for teachers. You must outwit, out think, and out plan all your fellow teachers. I mean, this is blood money. Be creative. Go Hallmark on them. Look at cars. One year, I lost with a musical door. A fellow teacher had decorated an entire wall and the teacher had students come out and singing in a choir.


Box or Bag It Rule

Cardboard plus duct tape can become anything. Your students just need a little imagination and they can create masterpieces-large and small. A little hot glue and paper bags can also be a plus. Digging for cardboard can become your #1 weekend hobby, if you're not careful.


Breaking Rules

It seems everyone has standard rules. Raise your hand, use listening ears, speak with inside voices. That's great if you are a standard teacher. But if you are not, create rules that suit your classroom.

1. READ everything.

2. Be nice to everyone.

3. Be a thinker.

4. Be creative.

5. Be a risk taker.

6. Be different.


Cure for the Messy Desk

Of course, you have those kids whose desks look like they could endanger you if you stuck your hand anywhere near them. Offer a prize for the "best" desk. Miss Organized will be surprised, yes, and yes, Miss Organized will win. Mr. Messy will get the message.


Doctors on Call

You are going to get sick, it is a guarantee. You are literally a germ incubator. Sneezes, coughing, sore throats and of course the dreadful flu will enter your life like never before. When will someone come up with a miracle drug for something for a teacher's immune system? Students are now taught to take a sleeve- it just so happen that the sleeves aren't long enough for the germs. Sick days, use them if you try to save them you will end up using more just to get well. Don't risk kicking off to save those golden suck days, you are probably not going to ever get that bonus money when you retire. We just need a doctor on call.


Door Contest No. 2 {Anecdote}

I got my grits handed to me last year in Christmas Door Contest - the one with the entire wall and live choir. I wanted to win the contest badly this time, no holds barred. I brought out the cardboard, built a storefront on the door and got the kids to help build cardboard toys to put on the shelves. I won this time!

Lesson - Never give up, keep on keeping on.


Double Dip

Always be looking for opportunities for your students to conquer two concepts or objectives in one setting. If you have a writing assignment, make it about someone in the community which allows them to use research skills and maybe communication skills. Another idea would be to use their writing talents to enter to enter local contests or to try to sell themselves for a job.


Face It

Face it, every classroom has a kid who loves to make those weird faces. Knowing which student that is will especially come in handy when you have a unit on animals. Put the student in charge of animal faces to liven up the unit and get those facial expressions released at the right time. Win, Win!


Fake It So You Can Take It

Some days you just have to get away from it all. They are called Mental Health Days. You can't call in for a mental heath day, so you will have to be sick. A cough is necessary when you call in. Beware, though, do not go out in the community. Escape to the couch and relax. You can even catch up on the dishes. That MHD will put you back on track to be your best self for many days to come.



Do not be afraid to develop relationships with your students. Good teachers develop mutual respect and care for their students. Many feel if they loosen up they will lose control of the classroom. The great teachers are not afraid to let their guard down based on their understanding of the relationship. Not all will respond to this, but 99% will.


Up and At "Em"

Use your kids to teach! They can be great manipulatives. That is, they can use their own bodies to demonstrate concepts they're learning. They can make great human bar graphs, number lines, segments, flowers, and more. Kids love this type of lesson and it gets them out of their seats and moving in a positive way.


Fouled Out

As you grow older or wiser some rules must be held tight and some can be relaxed. A good teacher who is also a coach/referee knows the difference between when to call a foul or when to let play continue in the classroom.


Gilligan's Island

Do not get self- ?absorbed in your own classroom. No one can be an island. If you do not build bridges with others, you will find yourself isolated. No one wants a top biller on their team. It takes Gilligan, the skipper too --- and all the rest!


The Golden Rule

Make friends with everyone. And I mean everyone. Be smart. No one needs enemies. Tell the cafeteria workers what a great lunch they have prepared and mean it. Your colleagues will be amazed at your portions compared to theirs. Kindness to those in charge of the supply closet will almost always guarantee that your supplies will not run low. The custodian is normally one of the nicest employees in the building, make him/her your best bud. Work smarter, not harder. Treat everyone the way you want to be treated.


Go the Extra Mile

You're having a dinner party, but you have a student who is having a piano-recital and has asked you come during the same time as your party. Her dad is military and on duty overseas. Excuse yourself, leave the party, get in the car and go the extra mile to attend the recital. You will be forgiven. This applies even if it is Sunday afternoon naptime. If a child is in a play, attend the play. This applies if it is a hot May afternoon-attend the tennis match. If your students ask you to attend their extra-curricular activities, try your hardest to go the extra mile.


Go to the Corner

Being put in the corner is not always a bad thing. Go to one of the corners and speak softly so that the children will be drawn to the corner with you. You can also use this technique when returning from recess when students are still on the rowdy side. Corner teaching will help you gain control quickly. It never hurts to do something different even if it means being put in the corner.


Pat on the Back

When your lessons is flowing well, try this. Praise a child for an answer or for a great performance by including their classmates in the praise. Say great job _________________________ {name} and have the class repeat your praise saying it all together several times. It makes all the students feel great and really calls attention to a good answer or performance.


Hilary's Community

Remember, you are not the number one source of information on life, teaching, and wisdom — EVEN if you have mastered three-digit division. When you have the opportunity to listen to a guest speaker, do so. Each guest to your room is important and their knowledge is invaluable. An example, an older gentleman came in and talked about his woodworking hobby. When asked why he didn't sell his art, he said if he was paid for it, it would become a job and he wouldn't enjoy it anymore. If I had been grading papers instead of listening to him that day, I would have missed a valuable lesson myself.


Ho, Ho, Ho

Christmas will roll around quicker than you think. Your gift to your student should be unique. Make something in advance and personalize it in some way. Try to stay away from the Dollar Store just in time. They will probably always remember that gift. Also, I hope you love chocolates and coffee cups because a lot of those will be coming your way!


Incorporate, Incorporate, Incorporate

There may be a "set in stone" curriculum, but that does not mean you cannot incorporate your lessons with other events, people, places, or even things. Knowing where the Gateway Arch is located and what is stands for or what the Everglades are or why John Glenn is famous can easily be incorporated in all curriculum. Always give your students more than what is set in stone.


Hot Off the Press

You are doing a great job as a teacher and you get your picture on the front page of the local paper. You look good and doing your thing with the kids at the teacher's fair, it hits the press. As an added plus your principal is standing beside you in the picture. Do not let your head get too big for your hat. Do not get too full of yourself if you want to see yourself and your students spotlighted again.


Excerpted from "Hands Up"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Mr. Redd.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

1, 2, 3, 1,
4 Guys and a Van-Moving Day, 2,
Advertising 101, 3,
A Good Story to Listen To, 4,
Baby It's Cold Outside {Anecdote}, 5,
Bad Hair Day, 9,
Bankruptcy, 10,
Be Caught In Children's Books, 13,
Being Flexible Is Not Just for Physical Education, 14,
Before Backpacks, 15,
Bench Me, 16,
What Is Your Best Lesson?, 17,
Bestsellers, 21,
The Heart of Your Job, 22,
Be Yourself Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 23,
Outrunning the Competition, 24,
Go Hallmark on Them, 25,
Box or Bag It Rule, 26,
Breaking Rules, 27,
Cure for the Messy Desk, 31,
Doctors on Call, 32,
Door Contest No. 2 {Anecdote}, 33,
Double Dip, 37,
Face It, 38,
Fake It So You Can Take It, 39,
Fearless, 40,
Up and At "Em", 43,
Fouled Out, 44,
Gilligan's Island, 45,
The Golden Rule, 49,
Go the Extra Mile, 53,
Go to the Corner, 54,
Pat on the Back, 55,
Hilary's Community, 56,
Ho, Ho, Ho, 57,
Incorporate, Incorporate, Incorporate, 58,
Hot Off the Press, 61,
IRA, 62,
It Is Okay to Cry, 63,
Attention Kmart Shoppers, 64,
Look My Way, 65,
Lounges Are for Nights, 66,
Maytag Moment, 67,
Moment by Moment, 71,
Change of Command, 72,
Next Best Lesson, 73,
Pay Pal, 74,
Photo Bomb, 75,
Raise That Bar, 79,
Read Those Folders, 80,
Red Mulch Needed, 81,
Root Canal, 82,
Roses, Anyone?, 83,
Rule: Watch Those Emails, 84,
R U Listening?, 85,
Quiet Mouse, 86,
Let Their Voices Be Heard, 89,
Starbucks, 90,
Table for Four, 91,
Take One for the Team, 92,
Take the Trash Out, Bring the Trash In, 93,
Sub Way, 94,
Thinking Skills, 95,
Those Short Faculty Meetings {anecdote}, 96,
Trash It or Keep It, 97,
Tutoring, 98,
Wranglers Recommended, 99,
Your Room, 100,
You Think??, 103,
You've Got Talent, 104,
You Want Proof, 105,
About the Author, 107,

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