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Slow and Steady

Things are progressing in the classroom, albeit at a “slow and steady” pace.  For the most part, this week has been a vast improvement in terms of focus and behavior, even though they’ve got a long journey ahead to meet with the expectation I have of them.

Still, I was able to laugh, joke, smile, and teach “with a flow” for this week (for the most part).  That, my friends, is a definite victory.

It also brought up a few questions.  It made me think whether starting earlier threw everyone for a loop, teachers and students alike, especially being the first year that we’ve started at the beginning of August instead of at the end.  I’m not sure if we could quantify this with hard data, but as far anecdotal evidence, the behaviors did seem to pick up a bit during those first three weeks (I certainly noticed an uptick for the first few weeks!).

At least now, things are starting to fall into place, and we’re not even close to implementing everything we usually do in Room 55.  It’s with that thought that I know this class will get there.  Once everything is in place, I have no doubt the school year is going to fly and those students will find a way to excel.  That’s always the hope at least.

So, some positives:

  • I always like the little victories.  Maybe it’s because I’m getting used to the students or maybe I just forced myself to look for those “positives,” but I saw more of those “little victories” this week than I had in the prior three.  I saw students take it upon themselves (no prompting from me) to help a classmate in math.  I saw another student hold a tether ball until everyone was clear of the playground, just to make sure no one would get in trouble.  I saw students who didn’t seem engaged with prior lessons, give an honest effort to stay with the class as we learned.   In our class, we call those “Level 5” behaviors (yes, based on Kohlberg but mainly taken from Rafe Esquith).
  • This, in turn, led me back to how I usually teach, which to me, is having a chance to be myself.  Not just a teacher, but being me.  I feel I can make a connection when I’m honestly expressing who I am, when I can spout off random jokes about observations I’ve made, mainly about myself and all self-deprecating, but nonetheless, very fun.
  • Today I felt that first pang of emotion when thinking about my class.  It’s that “pang” that motivates you to work harder for your students.  I definitely felt that today, after this week.

Obviously, we’ve still got work to do, but now, the fire is definitely back.  It’s just a matter of keeping the fire now . . .

Now. . . don’t think I would leave this post without adding a video.  I’m switching this up a bit and publishing one of my favorite Scrubs clips 🙂

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