Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One of Those Days

To a person reading my blog, it might appear that in the profession of teaching, everyday is rewarding and the students do awesome things to constantly keep you wanting to teach. While this is not entirely true, there is some validity within it.

Today, however (and yesterday, too) was one of those days where you come home exhausted and wonder why teaching is so difficult. Yesterday, during bathroom time, one of my students put the yellow, "Caution Wet Floor" sign in the toilet. Deep down, I think it was rather humorous, as the toilet is probably more wet than the floor, but still, this is not acceptable behavior, and thus the student deserved his consequence.

Today, all of the students were talkative the entire time I was there. The music instructor commented on their chatter when I went to pick them up, and many students moved their clips down the scale of consequences. It was very stressful, trying to bring them back to learning every few minutes. At first I thought it was just me, still brand new in my classroom management techniques, but after talking to my mentor, I realized she had difficulty keeping them on task as well today. Even though it seems to have stemmed from the class as a whole (granted, there were a select few who worked very well today, but the majority fit the above description), it still makes me wonder about various ways I could have done a better job of keeping them engaged.

Today was one of those days, I will have more of those days, and I will have many more wonderful days. I take each day, as the LORD gives it to me, and be the best teacher I can be (sometimes praying that amidst the turmoil, the students are learning).

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Literacy Surprise

I love it when my students surprise me. Like this week after we did literacy STAR quizes. In a nutshell, they are a computer generated quiz to help us determine the reading level of a given student. So when all this was done, my mentor shared our students' scores with me.

It was certainly a pleasant surprise. Whereas you will always have those that are a bit behind the rest, I was amazed at the number of students we had reading above grade level. We even had a few students reading two and three grades above grade level! This was awesome to see, especially considering who these students are in our classroom as a whole. I know that they are the type of students that will be able to motivate others and encourage them to be good readers as well. I love when my students surprise me!

Monday, September 14, 2009

First Weeks of School- Procedures

Everything has been happening so fast, it seems hard to believe it has been so long since I last wrote. I will probably write about the setup of rules and the beginnings of activities and such in a couple entries.

One thing I liked was how my mentor (the teacher I am working with) set up the rules. She discussed the classroom rules and discipline and referred to them frequently, especially in the first week. Procedures are a big part of the classroom environment, and the students (after 3 weeks) are doing well with them.

One of the procedures is for lining up. Each student has a number, and they line up in number order, facing forward, mouths quiet and hands at their sides. Because lining up was established as a procedure, lining up is not seen as a list of rules by the students. The students' numbers are used throughout the classroom for a variety of reasons including: lockers, cubbies, and selecting groups, just to name a few. Some other procedures are classroom bathroom time, signing in and out of the classroom, assignment notebooks and coming into the classroom in the morning.