Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sometimes It's the Little Things

In my university class, the professor has said more than once, "95% of the problems you have were created by you." And I know that's true.

I've been struggling with classroom management. In fact, I've been struggling with just keeping the noise level at decent decibels. (Less than the sound of an industrial manufacturing plant would be nice.) My principal tells me that classroom management and pacing of teaching are the two things that most new teachers struggle with. And I have been. I know that the things I did at the beginning of the year (and since then) have contributed to the issue. I've "taught" them to do this and I'm working on adjusting it.

In the past couple of weeks, I attended training related to classroom management and made some adjustments. Because my class is full of talkers (and the things I've been doing have apparently been contributing to that), I'm working on them to raise their hands before speaking. That way we can have a reasonable discussion without 17 voices speaking at once. Calling out, repeatedly saying my name, talking over each other, walking up behind me to ask a question - all things we're working on to make our classroom work a little better, to get things in better shape.

This past week was rough. Probably the roughest I've had since August. I felt my patience worn completely through. I did use a loud voice a few times. I was exhausted and felt a little defeated by Friday. 

And then...Friday afternoon as we were having a discussion, a tiny glimmer. One of my very social and vocal girls started to speak, stopped herself, and raised her hand. I called her name and she made a comment. Then she said, "Mr. Wiley, I started to call out. But then I stopped and raised my hand."

I smiled. "I saw that," I told her. "Thank you."

Sometimes it's the little things that give you hope. Maybe things can be different. 

1 comment:

  1. A tiny tip here, for when you are all working and you want to keep the general noise level down to a dull roar! Music. Have something that keeps to a fairly even noise level and have it playing at a level that means that if everyone talks and doesn't shout it can still just be heard. Weirdly I find Coldplay does the trick! Ask the kids to make sure they can hear the music in the background and their voice will be the right level. It works for us during the work time and lunch time.