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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Finally!

Today was, thankfully, better than all of last week, and this Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Statistically speaking, it was about time I had at least one semi-decent lesson.

My successful lesson was for science. I used a computer-to-TV-screen (that is, what shows up on the computer shows up on the TV screen) to show some really neat pictures that I found on the internet about our subject. I used an awesome song I found on a kids' science music CD. The kids loved getting to look at the TV screen, even though they weren't actually watching TV. The song was simple enough that they could sing along right away, but it really taught science, and wasn't just a tangential audio-aid. I wasted very little time trying to re-orient the kids' attention. (Very little time relatively speaking...but it was much better than it has been).

What I need to do now is figure out how to replicate this afternoon's lesson.

I frequently use music - as often as possible. I always use visual aids (though I never have used the TV screen before). And, well, I have to admit, I may have allowed the kids to get a little too loud. Or rather, I knew they were chatty, but I was okay with it because they were chatting about the pictures we were looking at. When my CT came in she chastised them for being too noisy/out-of-control.

And I think there, in a way, is where all the very negative feelings I have been having about my lessons and my capabilities as a teacher are lying. Every time she chastises the kids for being too loud, I feel as if she is chastising me for allowing them to get so loud. Sometimes she truly is talking to the kids, but in this instance I felt that there was an undercurrent of a comment directed at me that said, "See, this is why you're having such a tough time with classroom management. You allow them to get like this and they think they can behave like this all the time. If you made sure they were politely listening at all times, you wouldn't have the problems you do have, with them chatting inappropriately and being rude to you and their peers." And I don't know, maybe she wasn't saying that to me, but it certainly felt like it. It certainly frustrated me. I was actually having fun and was excited about what I was teaching for the first time in weeks. Literally weeks. I've been going through the motions, but the motions were kind of bland. My lessons always included visual aids, frequently music, ocassionally partner activities, etc. They weren't bad lessons, but I simply didn't care about them. I taught them and acted enthusiastic maybe, but really wasn't feeling it. This lesson though, I was totally into - I was excited and the kids could tell - they were certainly reflecting my excitement.

Then, when my CT chastised them for being too rowdy, at a time when I didn't feel they were acting particularly inappropriate, it kind of crushed me a little bit.

I think that I have to think more, and hard, and a lot, about my beliefs on classroom management. Or rather, I have to keep trying and failing, and maybe discovering that her way really is best, I don't know. She's had many years of experience and I have had none, so she really should know better. However, I truly was enjoying and satisfied and happy with that lesson, until that point. Maybe it's just my (at the moment) overly emotional self reading things into those comments that are not actually there. Maybe.

Regardless, I very much liked this lesson and the way it turned out. I feel that my objectives were met and the students were actively participating most of the time.

I'm going to be optimistic and hope that tomorrow will result in me feeling as satisfied at the end of the day as I did today.

2 Comments:

Blogger hedgetoad said...

has anyone else said anything about your classroom management style? Have you observed classes of teachers who have a louder style?

Some teachers like things quieter and others find that type of environment stifling... at the same time those who like the quiet find the other type of style chaotic. It may be simply an issue of style rather than your class "being out of control".

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Not Quite Grown Up said...

I think it was a combination of the two. I know that I do appreciate a louder and perhaps less...rigid(?) classroom than does my CT. However, I think that I was having a difficult time with classroom management throughout the student teaching experience.

No one else has commented negatively or positively on my classroom management style. I don't know if what I am doing is okay, or if I'm giving the kids too much of a free reign.

I think this is something that I won't be able to actually see until I have my own classroom. There were a couple other factors influencing my difficulty with classroom management, I believe. (I think I'll write a post about that issue.)

10:23 PM  

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