Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 86: Head In My Hands

I came in this morning in fairly good mood.  I'm not sure what to attribute this to, except that I had a good workout and my kids were extra loving last night.

In any event I started today feeling pretty good.  I've been thinking about assigning less homework and doing more of the practice problems and projects in class.
I REALLY want to do a Venn Diagram of their respective problems.

There is chaos brewing on the district level and it would be easy to let it creep into my class.  I could sit and worry about where/if I'll be teaching next year in terms of classes, grades or buildings.  I could stress over what resources will be taken away or moved around.  But none of that will be productive.

I've made a conscious effort in this blog to not talk about my coworkers, my administration, or my district, unless it directly relates to how I can improve my instruction.

With all of that said, it did manage to creep in a bit.  I also joked around a bit with my students and had tremendous trouble getting them back afterwards.  We had a brief talk about how they complain about boring school is.  I told them that when I try to make it interesting, I feel as though they take that as a cue to goof off, making me more reluctant to do those activities.

So I went back to a bit of direct instruction.  I'm giving them highly structured notes, but being more aware of the questions that I'm asking.  If I have to lecture and go over examples, then I need to supplement the instruction with higher order questions.

I had to remove a student from my 8th period.  He brought no materials and was combative when I asked him to please stop talking.  It escalated because he wanted it to and I allowed it.  I do think, however, that the majority of my students are also getting sick of his antics as, once I removed him, class ran VERY smoothly.

I have yet to figure out a way to de-escalate with some of my students.  I need to keep my temper, but too many things built up today, including an insanely rude student in Geometry, a class that is generally supposed to be low-stress for me.

A stressful faculty meeting about a stressful board meeting sapped my attention from adequately reflecting on my classes.

Suffice to say, I wasn't overly pleased with my lessons, but I think I'm continuing to build relationships with several students.

And possibly destroying others.  I know I can't win over every kid, but I'd like to win them over enough to convince them not to destroy my classroom.

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