Teachers have to work SO hard to establish routines and procedures in classrooms. I mean, imagine having 25 small people in control most of the time! If the students don't know what to do, they'll find something to do...and it's most likely not what you want them doing!
Since I took my 7 week maternity leave in October, my class was just W-I-L-D! I think it was quite the party in there while I was gone! When I got back, we had a lot of work to do to get back into our routines. A LOT.
When I teach kids, it's important to me that they know WHY we are doing what we are doing. I want them to realize that we have guidelines, procedures, and routines to make our classroom run smoothly. I don't want them to view the classroom as MY classroom...it's OUR classroom and we all have a stake in what happens/doesn't happen in there.
I try to frequently vocalize how I think things in general are going in our classroom. I think it's important for students to recognize appropriate ways to show praise/frustration. I don't ever want them to behave just because they'll get in trouble if they don't. I want them to understand WHY it's important to make good choices...what will happen if they make good choices, and what will happen if they don't make good choices.
So...when I got back from my leave, it was challenging to get back on track. Challenging for all of us. We had a lot of sneakiness, fibbing, cheating, and even a lot of stealing.
One day I just had it! I said, "I'm very frustrated with how our class is running." We had a talk about what things were working and what things weren't working. I had each student write a letter about how they thought things were going.
I kept this one...I thought it was sweet....mistakes and all. Oh, and P.S. things have gotten MUCH better. We're back in the swing of things...and only 7 school days until summer!
"Dear Mrs. Cox, We bin acting bad. Where very very sorry. I don't steel but other kids mite steel. Where very very very sory that you git frustraidid. We will try to not git you frustratid any more. I willn't git you frustraidid but I know it will happen again. But I will try not to git you frustraidid anymore."
I haven't been the most loyal of American Idol fans this season...just can't quite get into any of them...But....I have noticed two things that bug me...
1. Has anyone noticed how Randy will comment on a singer, then Ellen will comment. When it's Kara's turn she says, "I agree with the guys...." Plural. As in Randy and... ? (Simon hasn't commented yet) Ellen because she's not straight? I don't know...but she's done it twice!
2. It totally bugs me when Ryan Seacrest is saying the numbers to call to vote for a contestant, and the contestant holds up fingers to show his/her number.....Anyone else? I don't know why it bugs me, but honestly it's nearly enough to lose my vote!