The Bad News: TEACHING could not be any harder.
= = =
I'm staggering to the finish line, dude. It's nearing the end of Q1 and fall break is just around the corner. I have no excitement, though, only fatigue.
"They" say that nothing can really prepare you for your first year of teaching. I've heard the powers that be say this over and over again until it has lost its meaning.
To put this cliche into terms I understand, I think about running -- on the one hand, teaching has had a lot of parallels to training for longer and longer distances.
On the other hand, instead of feeling like training, my first year of teaching feels like running my first marathon without any training whatsoever. I do not have muscle memory to recall. I do not know when to speed up or slow down in order to take care of myself. I do not have the benefit of thinking back to past successes to motivate me for the road ahead.
In fact, my first year of teaching feels like running a marathon without training and with a pack of hungry wolves close at my heels. In order to make it to the finish line and to safety, I need to just keep running and running and running and stumbling and quicklygetmyselfup and running and running...
= = =
To be honest, I'm only focusing on the crudest, most basic motions of teaching and on getting by with enough energy to want to come back the next day. These crude motions include making copies of worksheets, collecting worksheets, entering them in the grade book, and every now and then, having an activity where I know all hell is going to break loose in the classroom, but at least I'm giving them an activity.
Keep up and do your work in the class, and you will have at least a B in the class. All of the classwork is very similar to the test and tests are worth 90 percent of your grade.
Choose to goof off and you will fail the class.This is what I try to tell myself as students get off-task in class, but it's hard to live with that because these students take away from the rest of the class' learning. I try kicking out the kids who are off-task, but there are so many of them and not enough places in the school to send them. There is also too many of them off-task to attack anyway.
= = =
I am on-track with my pacing guide. That's good. All of the items that are being covered in the Fall Benchmarks have been covered to some degree. Some students are getting As and A+s in the class, and I feel OK about how they will do on their coming exam because the lessons and assignments that I've given require students to show what they can independently do. Some students have been doing pretty well independently.
Some students show up to school every day and copy down the board work without giving it a second thought. These kids will struggle with the test.
Other students show up to school and do and turn in almost nothing every day. These kids will probably turn in a blank test.
I'm not afraid to get into students' faces and take command. The problem, though, is actually yielding results after this confrontation. I will keep practicing.
Goals for tomorrow:
- Pay attention to my foot pattern as I circulate the room. I need to own the entire room.
- Less teacher-talk
- Capitalize on beginning-of-period time for teacher-talk
- Get enough rest tonight, come to school early again tomorrow.