Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Finally, A Laugh

I know I promised funny stories, but since the students haven't really been able to talk not much has happened in the way of a funny comment. I promise this post will contain one... but later on. Be patient!

I am a very organized person, but some of the things my MT wants I thought were a little unnecessary. For example, for the warm ups he wants the students to have EXACTLY what he wants. Nothing more, nothing less. He wants the date in a certain spot, etc. I love this idea, but I was kind of thinking to myself "What's the big deal if they put the word 'Warm Up' after the date?" Well, when he was explaining to the students why organization is important I understood. In order for students to get work back promptly they need to have it organized. When I was grading the warm ups I noticed right away the difference between an A and an F. An A had exactly what I wanted and an F didn't. It made grading that much quicker. So, for all you future teachers: ORGANIZATION ORGANIZATION ORGANIZATION! Another thing my MT does is he always has the lights off when the students enter. One good thing about our classroom this year is that it is really big so there are two large lights in the front of the room that turn off and two in the back that can stay on so that the room isn't too dark, but even when he didn't have this he always had the lights off. He says he does this to give the students a sense of what they should be doing and to give them the idea that they need to be acting differently from the well lit hallway. Plus, he always has warm ups on the overhead projector that are easier to see with the lights off. I think it does make a difference too!

I actually taught some lessons today! The high school I'm at has 6 core values that everyone in the school is constantly reminded of. In their English class they went over what they were and it was our job to do a "Positive School Culture Matrix" with the students in order to get the students to understand what the core values look like in practice. The way the class went was that they did their warm up and then individually each row had a location in the school and they had to write an example of what each core value would look like in that location. Then as a class we came back together and I went down the rows and had each student give an example for the core value I asked them in their location. The rest of the class would fill out the matrix for the boxes they didn't have to do independently. The core values of the school are: Courage, Respect, Empathy, Desire, Integrity, and Teamwork.

For the first bell my MT did the warm up with the students and I was supposed to explain the lesson. However, I was so wrapped up in stuff, plus I didn't really know what to do, so my part of the lesson was pretty bad. Haha. He had to pick up most of the pieces for me. Before the second class started he asked me if I wanted to try it again. I said yes because I need to practice my teacher persona, plus I'm not nervous in front of them, so I felt I could give it a try since I better understood what the lesson looked like. So, for the second bell I went through the warm up. I asked for volunteers to give one of the six core values in order and then the description. My MT said some stuff before and after. Then it was my turn to give the description of the lesson and when the individual work was finished I led the discussion on the whole group part. I changed things as I remembered my MT doing. It went alright. My MT thought it was better than I did, but he also gave me some good advice. I needed a louder voice because the reason I had to keep repeating myself was that the students couldn't hear me when my back was to the front, I needed more confidence where I acted like I knew what I was talking about and clearer instructions. I attempted it again third bell and it went great! At the end of the lesson my MT gave me the thumbs up and had a huge smile on his face.

During lunch we debriefed what happened. He told me that it went great. Another piece of advice he gave me was that I needed to work on having the students raise their hands instead of shouting out because if I don't than they will begin to think they can bend the rules on other procedures for the class and from there they will eventually control the class. It's so hard trying to keep track of everything I need to do, but that's why I write them down! He did tell me that he sensed that the students respect me because he would be able to tell right away if they didn't. He said it helped that I have been involved grading, etc since day 1. He also finished by saying he was my biggest fan and that he was rooting for me to do well! :)

Now, the funny story. So, my MT taught 5th bell because they are very "squirrelly." As he was going through the matrix with the class he went to one student who had to give an example of courage in the restroom. Now we were looking for an answer that said something like "Having the courage to tell someone to stop clogging the sink." However, with a straight face, this kid said, "You can have the courage to take a doo-doo." HAHAHA It was so funny! I taught again 6th bell, but it didn't go so well because they kept asking to repeat since they would ask their neighbor a question and then not hear the response. I also realized how awful my classroom management is. My MT stepped out of the room and the students started shouting out answers. I kept trying to have them raise their hands, but it was hard to try to restrain all of them. Plus, I should have followed my MT procedure not talking when they are talking and not start up until they are done. But too many things were going through my mind like wanting to get through the matrix so they wouldn't have homework, but they did have homework. So, not talking when the students are talking is something I need to work on next time!

I found this today on cleveland.com and I thought it was funny. I'm totally like this, even now because I still feel like I don't have to do anything since UC hasn't started yet.

Today I am wearing pants from a thrift store and my shirt is from Urban Outfitters. See? I'm not kidding that all my clothes come from Target, UO, or the thrift store. But actually the yellow tank top underneath is from a store called Gadzooks that used to be in the mall in my hometown and it carried Forever 21 stuff. I saw Brooke today (a fellow education classmate and my friend) because she has my MT as a teacher for classroom management and she said I looked very teachery! Haha I'm glad I do!

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