Start A Ripple..Or At Least Get Out Of The Way Archived Post 3.9.12

by lclarcq on December 2nd, 2014

filed under Archived Posts 2012, Encouragment, Good Days, Musings, Not So Good Days

(Originally posted 3/9/12)

It has been a typically hectic school week. You know what I mean: Five week grades were due, the juniors and seniors have big deadlines to meet for English papers, Spring sports started, the musical is just around the corner, two grades had class meetings, everyone is sick (I was out for two days myself), requisitions were due, there was a Dept. Chair meeting, etc. etc.On Tuesday, just before I left early to go home ill, I was reminded that there was a Color Guard show in the building and that one of the visiting schools would be in my room. When I came back on Friday I was trying to recoup from having been out and figure out how to visitor-proof my complete and total disaster of a classroom.

First period there was no time. I had to teach and help a student who was on home-tutoring re-enter. Second period there was no time. I had to negotiate a disciplinary issue that had occurred with the substitute. Third period I had to check on the re-entering student and meet with another who was in crisis.

By the time 4th period class got started finishing an activity they had started earlier in the week , I was looking around the room, completely overwhelmed by the idea of making my room usable. A student asked me what I was looking at. A student who is often off in his own world and not very sensitive to what is going on around him. I told him that I was trying to figure out how to get ready for the room to be used. He offered to start the process for me. I thanked him but said, “No, this is my mess, this is my job, I’ll do it after school.” That was true, but I also figured that he wasn’t in the mood to work on his assignment. :o)

He looked at me for a second and said, “You know, just let me move a few things to that back corner and then you can block it off with a table.” and he got up, moved a few things and the entire picture changed. “See…it’s not that big of a deal…and it will be easy.” He was thrilled to have pointed that out for me, and I was thrilled to let him keep going.” On the way out, after spending over 20 minutes cleaning MY room, he said “Thanks, Profe.”

OH MY. Thank you estudiante mío. Not just for moving piles of books and papers. For making a difference in my day. For reminding me that my agenda is often selfish. For wanting to be part of the classroom in your own way. For starting a ripple, and reminding me to get out of the way.

with love,
Laurie

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We Only Get Students That We Have Archived Post 3.10.12

by lclarcq on December 2nd, 2014

filed under Archived Posts 2012, Classroom Management, Encouragment, Musings, Not So Good Days, Tough Students

(Originally posted 3/10/12)

It’s that time of year where the end is almost in sight, but the road ahead can seem impossibly long.

It gets tough.

Since the “entities” aren’t in our classroom, our frustration sometimes ends up falling on our students. I wish that it didn’t. I know that we try not to let it. Truth is, it often ends up there anyway.

I know that it is happening to me when I look out at my kids and these strange thoughts start sneaking up on me….

Why can’t they pay attention?

Why can’t they see how much I care?

Why do they fight me all the time?

Why do they think that everyone else’s class more important than mine?

Why are they so angry?

and then I realize that I’m talking about me and my feelings not about my students.

Sigh.

I know I’ve said it before, but I need to hear it again: We don’t get the students we want, nor the
students we think that we deserve. We only get the students that we have.

On Ben Slavic’s blog, folks are revisiting the beginning of the year rules. There is a feeling that we need to re-establish the rules….and a wish that we could start over again. I think that I know why.

We are not teaching the students that we had in September. Those kids are gone. We have a new group now, it’s March. Oh maybe they inhabit the same bodies, but the person inside is different.

I know that I have days when I wish that some of them were the same as they were in September: more refreshed, more open, a little less jaded. There are other days when I wish that they would be a few months older: more responsible, more mature, less restless.

But they aren’t. And I have moments when I just want to scream.

I think it is time for me to go back and get to know the kids again. Time for me to stop demanding, stop wishing, stop what-iffing.

I have 100+ really cool human beings in my room. At this time of year I find myself with only my flaw-glasses on. Time for new lenses.

For me, new lenses sometimes means a new routine…or at least a bit of a change. It’s as good a time as any!!

with love,
Laurie

All content of this website © Hearts For Teaching 2009-present and/or original authors. Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited. Examples and links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.