While I am getting into the rhythms of actually teaching, two other areas are of some concern to me. First, as I’ve mentioned before, is the classroom management. Some seem utterly incapable of keeping their mouths closed and others are just rude. Many can’t seem to contain themselves so they’re popping out of their seats with amazing regularity. One class is incredibly needy, swarming me with questions or requests rather than just sitting down and doing the work.
And each class’ personality has become apparent. This week, I gained four new students scattered over three of my ninth grade classes. One joined my quietest class and has been a nice addition, making solid contributions already and bonding with the previous newest student, which has raised the quality of classroom conversation. Two joined my most boisterous class and one is quiet, the other joined right in with the chatting and ignoring direction.
My department chair dropped in unexpectedly at the end of one period this week and we wound up team teaching the last few minutes, which was fun. First of all, the kids quieted down and second, we bounced off one another very nicely. On Friday, our assistant principal visited the class to lend some weighty support. She took five of my most troublesome kids out for a chat and we’ll see if it pays dividends tomorrow.
Since the second quarter began, I’ve tried to get tougher with discipline so the detentions have been flying as have the calls and emails home. I need to keep maintaining the pressure so they understand there are consequences to their actions.
Report cards went out Thursday and anyone receiving a D or lower had me request a conference with the parent. So far, not a single parent has been heard from, which goes to why some of these kids are slacking in class.
The other issue is time management. As most know, I’m pretty good at this. However, at school, there is never enough time for everything that needs doing. Our union is asking teachers to keep two week logs of our time, which is something I was considering doing for myself. All I know is, class ends at 2:05 and I don’t leave the building until 4:30-5:00 and still feel undone. I spent hours yesterday lesson planning and reading materials and still don’t feel atop my work. There is a growing stack of documentation people have suggested I look at and I keep meaning to get to it but more timely work wins. It’s leaving me occasionally frustrated and sometimes feeling overwhelmed which is new for me.
Atop this, there’s professional development that comes complete with homework assignments and after each meeting, I keep thinking, “How am I going to fit this in?”
I am going to guess that once I gain more experience and confidence in the curriculum, the planning will get easier which may leave me more time for other required activities.
And so the first year continues apace.