Sep 03 2010

Small wins…

I remember one of the interview questions for the TFA interview that the recruiter asked me was, “What would I do to keep myself motivated throughout all of this?” I quickly answered, “I’d account for every single small win that I could get. That is the progress towards the big goal we have.” Wow, isn’t this coming so true now…

So out of my three periods of the day, I have my worst behaved period last. I take some blame for this, since by the time I get to teach this period, I am exhausted from teaching the last 2 90-minute blocks back-to-back. It should’t be an excuse, but I am working on fixing this group, especially once they come back from lunch. In today’s case, they were all given lunch detention by the school’s vice-principal for misbehaving in every class they participated in that day. I know they can behave better though, so I have been trying to turn things around in a different manner than how they were treated. I decided to emphasize the positive and hopefully that would overshadow the negative. However, things didn’t seem to have been working, even though I implemented the Shout Out Chain, narrated behavior to death, and complimented students for everything good they did – the students digressed and once my classroom was over, they began to misbehave in their next class. I needed to compose myself while they were in that class. Before they are dismissed, I try to get really hype over my daily 45-second challenge, in which I ask students to clean up the classroom quietly and stack their chairs under 45 seconds. They have never won the challenge…

However, today I felt different. After getting yelled at for 30 minutes by their Spanish teacher, I issued the challenge knowing they could do it. And with 38.9 seconds, the classroom was as neat as when I entered it. I proudly congratulated them, and saw a true look of happiness and accomplishment beaming from their faces. They have still a long way to go, but this small win motivated me to work until 12:00 AM tonight when I have to wake up at 5:30 tomorrow.

One Response

  1. Raquel

    you’re such a teacher. i love this blog!

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The adventurers of the wanderer closing the gap

Greater Philadelphia
Middle School

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