For anyone that teaches several classes a week, you know that there is always that ONE class. The class that just can't seem to master the procedures, even though you present the information exactly the same way to every class. The class that can't get along because they tattle or shove each other around when they line up. The class that pushes you to the edge of your limit. The class that makes you want to march about half a dozen students to the office for an hour everyday because you can't figure out how separate them in the room and they are hindering everyone's learning. The class that you dread every week because you know that consequences won't effect their rottenness. The class where no one is absent. Ever. The class that calls your bluff.
This year, I am fortunate enough to have students again, that I had WAY back in kindergarten. I still remember many of my students, even if they don't remember me. It is helpful to know so many names, and it is cool that I had them all those years ago, and their brothers and sisters who came along later. The thing that makes this year a little harder than other years, is that in some ways, the group I had all those years ago, was one of my hardest groups ever. I remember wondering if I had made a wise decision to become a teacher. I chalked it up to the 3rd-year teacher blues and kept plugging along, but at the time I really struggled with my career choice. And now, I have to keep reminding myself, that the toughest classes I have now, are only temporary, and it will only get better over the next few years. I have had a preview of what is to come and this year might be slightly more challenging, but I can't let it slow me down.
My biggest fear, is that I will be observed during one of those tough classes and it will appear as though my classroom procedures are a joke and the students who run wild, will chose that day to run wild and even though I am sticking to my management plan, it will look like chaos.
So for my observation area, I want to make every effort to whip this particular group of kiddos into shape, which doesn't involve any whipping and hopefully not a whole lot of tears. I don't have a magic wand or an expensive bribe system. My plan involves being CONSISTENT. Being CALM. And building RELATIONSHIPS. By reading the posts over on the Smart Classroom Management blog, I know that I can do it.
For every other class in the building, I can maintain consistency, I can stay calm, and I have great relationships, but for that ONE CLASS, the wheels fall off. So I am making it my mission to try a little harder and be a little more patient, and take things a little slower. If it means practicing procedures everyday, then practice we shall. If it means we make a little less art, then that is okay too. If it means I have to skip lunch and go eat with them in the cafeteria, just so I can have a chance to get to know the kids outside of the art room, then I am committed to that. If it means I have to call every single parent in for a conference, then so be it. I want to understand what is keeping THAT group from being just as successful as every other class and make every effort to make it the class that I don't dread every week.
This post is part of the Teach Thought September Reflective Blogging Challenge for teachers.