Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bringing the heat

I have often wondered if I would be good at classroom management. I find management and leadership to be so different when you actually step into these roles. Although I have had a lot of leadership in the last 8 years or so, I don't know about management. Yah, I was a supervisor of 100 student callers, but I always had 7 other supervisors around, and at least 4 within seconds of me if I had a question.

Now, I step into this world where after 1 week (yes, 1 WEEK ONLY) I am put on this stage. This stage consists of 20 students staring at you thinking about a multitude of things. Things much they hate school, how much MORE they hate summer school, their boyfriends, the hangover they are feeling (yes, 7th graders drink now! what???), the fight they had last night, etc. etc. etc. And do you know what they don't think about...nor WANT to think about? English. English English English.

And for me, this initially was confusing. What students don't want to learn? Apparently these one's right? But that was my mistake....because everyone does want to learn. Every person, by human nature, in my opinion, wants to learn new things. Now, maybe these things aren't the same for each person, and maybe they don't want to learn things at the same rate or in the same amount, BUT each person does want to move forward in their life.

With this new attitude I walked into my classroom today, and tried to do something that would make each student WANT to participate. Make them want to engage the material, make them want to move forward, and finally make them want to continue positive thinking in my classroom and into each other classroom that they entered today.

So, we started our lesson and talked about narrative essay. I was so excited to finally get to teach about writing!! We talked about voice and expressing yourself and a few (not all, but that's okay!) seemed really excited to share a personal thing about themselves. And, I certainly don't mean share with the class, but they DID want to share in their journals or with me, and this is a huge step. Even my two students who just transitioned from ESL classes to mainstream classrooms wrote page long outlines for their essays.

It was a tough day management wise, unfortunately, but in a way a great day management wise. I have found that giving these students the option to choose from three or four things makes them feel like they have some power in the classroom. This power allows me to lay off on my management/hammer and instead allow them to have a controlled fun that they feel they shaped. What a great epiphany!

Ah, hump day, you have come and gone. I think I will come to love Wednesday nights for the next two years! New Orleans on Friday morning, so excited!!!!!!

p.s. I took some pictures of my school that I will post up later this week once I get my new computer up and running! Love everyone, and thanks for your support these past few weeks!

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited to see that you are very passionate about all of the great work you are doing in the classroom. Though the very beginnings of your lifelong career, where you still are doing quite a bit of learning, may not be your favorite points, it's awesome to see you are already taking great enjoyment out of it. It makes me excited to see you taking so much enjoyment out of this experience already, despite long hours and lots of work.

    Also, if you still have your old computer, send it to me. I will work on getting your information off of it. Trust me on this. It's me, Nick. You know if it's possible I'll find a way; my gift to you. I know that you know I'm good for it.