Saturday, February 28, 2009

Things they don't tell you #2...

2. Letting students sit around for the last 15 minutes of class results in chaos!

Yesterday I was rushing through my lesson, nervously looking at the clock thinking I only had 5 minutes to wrap up everything. Ironically, we were discussing the theme the "failure of reason."
I zoomed through the reading and last minute announcements, satisfied that I had once again crammed in as much info into one 50 minute period as possible.
Students were packing their belongings up and I told them just to chill out for the remaining 60 seconds until the bell rang.
But the bell didn't ring...
I glanced back at the clock and was horrified- I had accidentally read the time wrong earlier and we still had 15 more minutes left of class!
Chaos burst down the flood gates. I tried desperately to reign students back in; read quietly, look at your grades in the back...but there was no chance coaxing these 9th grade savages back into sitting in their desks and reading demurely.
I simply had to put out fires for the remainder of class time.
Students opened the windows and were yelling outside, girls were flirtatiously hugging and snuggling up against my gangsta boys, people were milling around, laughing and arguing. It sounds painfully typical for high schoolers, which it is, but monitoring these hormone-bursting teenagers is enough to make me feel schizophrenic.
Moral of the story- fill up your class time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Things they don't tell you in Teacher Education courses...

1. students don't keep or look at the copies you make them (so don't waste paper on high schoolers!)
instead they use all your precious white paper to do the following:
a) make origami
b) write notes to friends
c) rip it up
d) step on it and leave it strewn about the classroom
e) fold up into odd shapes to stick in their back pocket or backpack
(Bare with me and try to imagine a gangsta wanna be high school boy with a week's worth of homework assignments folded up into quatrains and stuffed in his pants- nice organization; or the girl who has crumpled up all of her assignments and shoved them into her backpack so that it looks like she is carrying around a satchel of trash- awesome!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm back...barely

Ok- I am back to blogging.
This will be my cartharsis for student teaching, which more or less has been shattering my sense of self-worth.
What fantastic fun.

But I am ready to stop beating myself up, receive some grace, gain some perspective, and humility. These are my strategies for climbing out of a student teaching sink hole:
1. exercise daily- or at least go outside each day.
2. plan a week in advance on Thursday nights.
3. seek out support from older and wiser people.
4. write down things that I do well.
5. ask for more student feedback.

and work on remembering:
1. the job of savior is already taken (and I suck at it anyway...)
2. i am not responsible for student performance; students are responsible for their own choices and learning.
3. i am not in control
4. i cannot prove my self-worth by what i do or do not do.
5. for every winter there is a spring