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.