Friday, March 20, 2009

Life Moves On

Another week bites the dust. It has been an interesting week to say the least. I have had a good week. I had the principal come and chat with my class on Tuesday morning about what appropriate behavior entails and the consequences of not complying. I think the part that is most difficult for me to watch it the few students that portray the attitude of "I DON'T CARE". I only wish I had a time machine that would zoom them forward twenty years so they could get a good look at themselves. But, alas I don't, so I will keep letting them know that I care, and hope they come around some day.

I made the observation to my wife that I am possibly obsessed with teaching to an unhealthy degree. Every moment seems to be focused on school. When I am not at school I am reading magazines, books, researching new ways to do things, and it is TOO MUCH. So I set myself a goal to de-obsess a lot. To focus more on my family and faith. To bump them up the ladder a few rungs ahead of school. I guess the perfectionist in me simply wants to have the best class, test scores, everyone smiling and happy to be at school and in my class, and the cold reality is that few feel that way (about being in school and my class). I am truly coming to terms to accept that. I have found in the last couple of days that I can leave school happier (even knowing things aren't done) and come home and go for a walk or visit as a family. It is nice and I hope I can stick with it.

Well, my wife is at Scrapbook USA up North. I hope she has fun. I have a college class tomorrow. (Only 4 sessions and then I will have math endorsement completed, and can move on to my masters). YEA!

Later...

3 comments:

  1. i am so grateful for teachers like you! I only wish that you were teaching my 6th grader. It would be hard to care so much & get smacked in the face with a pre-teen attitude! I have had that happen to a more than a few times this year. It leaves me stunned everytime. LoL! I ask myself when will they learn but maybe its me that needs to learn some things. Ahhh teenagers & the pre-teens....what do ya do? Many kudos & thanks to you! Tell your wife super "HI". Congrats on the baby boy.

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  2. I think the biggest problem with you and your class now is that the school year is nearly over and they are moving up to the "big school" next year and perhaps they don't want to leave so they are acting out and trying to fail on purpose. Remember those sixth graders are pretty smart and they do have a lot of potential (I saw that in many of their stories and their writing - some have great imaginations but they don't know howw to get it out and express themselves the correct way; of course that is society too - we have to teach a certain way, the kids have to learn a certain way and there is no stepping outside the boundaries).

    At the beginning of the school year, your attitude will be different. Everyone is getting worn down. I bought these packet of story starters at Dollar Tree last week and was looking through some of them and they are silly things - what if a bat could pain? - so maybe what you need to do is do something silly in lieu of sitting in the chair and learning something (it's been proven that some kids really learn better standing up and pay more attention).

    I was speaking with a lady that runs the teen hangout we have in town last night (it's only open on Fridays for a couple of hours - and it's free - they get to shoot pool, play air hockey or that soccer game, watch TV, shoot mini hoops (like the carnival game) and just hang out) and she was a teacher for 5 years but now is a stay-at-home mom. Now grant it she taught second grade and you are teaching sixth but something may work. She said she used to teach the kids their multiplication tables to rap - she would bring the CD in and tell them they had to stay in their "space" but they could move any way they wanted without going out of their space. If they went out, they had to sit down. She said they never went out of their space because they didn't want to miss the fun and they learned their multiplication tables pretty quickly.

    Like the mummy thing you blogged about earlier - the hands on thing will be rememered more than anything else you teach them. Trust me it's not that they are bad kids, there are other things going on. Maybe take them out of the squared off desk settings and put them in a different type of setup; maybe have them do more hands on activities; I think part of it is they are realizing how big a step next year is and they don't want to leave.

    And you know I'll do what I can to help make things better. Maybe I need to drop out of visiting until the last couple of weeks of school - maybe they will act differently when I'm in class if they don't have me there every week or maybe we shake things up somehow. When you get a chance, let's brainstorm some new ways to get the respect and "good behavior" you want and also keep them learning something that will stick with them the rest of their lives.

    I've rambled a bit - sorry but I know you have it in you - I've heard you and your frustration but I think it is multifactorial based. There will be something that comes along and clicks and everyone will be back on happy grounds. E :)

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  3. HEY! Take time for yourself before you run the risk of burning out into a ball of flame. I realized that there is ALWAYS more to do in the classroom... a lesson can always be better... one can always do more lesson planning, etc. Family time is crucial, not just for their sake but for your own as well. Glad to hear about your taking time for yourself.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts...

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