What was a positive highlight in your teaching week?
I’ve been leading the classes every day, and they are quickly becoming “my students”. Every day is a learning process, but I am getting more comfortable as the role of teacher, gaining confidence, and learning from my mistakes.
What was your biggest challenge this week?
Many students in period 6 were distracted, not listening, talking to each other, and did not want to pay attention when I was speaking to the class, despite proximity control and several verbal warnings. I need to be ready to back up my warnings with consequences for students who are disrespectful.
What aspect of teaching do you hope to work on or refine next week?
I’ve been taking the lead more and more, which has been challenging and rewarding at the same time. I try to think about how to improve after each lesson. The one thing I would like to focus on is getting 100% student attention when I’m speaking, and requiring that students listen to their peers when a student is sharing during class discussions.
One, I am practicing becoming silent when a student starts talking while I’m talking. I refuse to talk over them. If I have to wait, I time the amount of time they owe me on the board. They have to earn that time back by working hard on in-class assignments. Also, when I call on a student to share with the class, I move to the opposite side of the room, where my proximity prevents most students from the temptation to talk to neighbors. I can also present the class with a tough assignment at the beginning of class, which can be modified to a shorter and/or group assignment if the class works hard. I like this last option because it is structured to be a positive reward, rather than a negative one.
For repeat offenders, I can separate the talkers by moving one of the students (the one who’s talking more) to a quieter, preferably more isolated, area of the room. I can also give the student a “time-out”, talk to them one-on-one after class, and/or call home, as needed. Thinking about these consequences ahead of time will make me feel more confident in requiring that students listen to whoever is speaking to the class.