July 18, 2011

Term 3, Day 1–a good day!

Love love love this song. Listen!


The enthusiasm from the Mid-Year Intensive showed in my teaching today.  I feel a lot more organised which helps.  S, another TFA associate at my school, worked so hard to prepare classes for this term in humanities which was a HUGE help so I could adapt her work rather than start from scratch.  Lifesaver.  She came to observe my class today and noticed I was a lot more relaxed with the students too.  I felt more comfortable managing their behaviour and making them accountable for their work.  There’s always so much room for reflection and improvement though, and I know what I need to do for next time.  I can see myself “reflecting in practice” and taking in the teaching environment, making sure even though I’m talking to a student I’m observing what the others are up to. 


I’m channelling a bit of Rafe Esquith and incorporate the class motto, “Work hard.  Be nice.”  There was an observable difference in the energy of the class.  Students distributed out atlases to others, and I reminded them to say “thank you”.  It’s much easier to try to be controlling and scary in a class but I can’t discipline students in this way…  I would love for them to know I am pushing them because I expect more out of them. 


Because my year ten’s are such a difficult class, it means there’s the most room for improvement in both their learning and my teaching.  Their literacy levels range from year 3 reading up to year 10.  It’s a class of 23 this term, with 15 crazy energetic boys.  I have them three times a week, and out of those, two are 90 minute classes after lunch two times a week.  Added to this mix is the chronic absenteeism and behavioural issues (I’m sure there are some undiagnosed ADHD and autistic students in this class although of course I am not qualified to give this opinion, but I still should modify my teaching methods to cater for the ones with an inability to sit still, or interact with social cues).  The class is made more difficult because of my school’s inconsistent technology where internet/printers often might be broken, there’s not access to the projector, and I can’t even find a whiteboard eraser (luckily, I have tissues).


I had a few new students in class.  One of them spent a lot of time cutting her hair – why didn’t I think to confiscate her scissors?  Another one crossed his arms, bored.  I feel so bad for my students who want so badly to be pushed and want to learn.  


No wonder I came home today, ate, showered and then collapsed into bed.  I nearly choked on some wasabi while reading “Teach like a Champion.”  I didn’t have time to eat at school all I had until 5pm was two slices of toast and an apple.  Eeeep.  So you might be reading this thinking that’s crazy… And it’s not sustainable so I do have to look after myself better.


My year 12 class today had post-holiday silliness.  There was a lot of chatting going on, but because they were talking about legal studies, I was hesitant to stop them.  Teaching forces me to think on my feet. 


I’m rambling because I’m still nervous and stressed and thinking about schoolwork.  OK must meditate now.

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