“Finally, it’s Friday” Friday September 23, 2016

6be3165b83ec591e5d1ef31e9eabac50What a rotten week. I’m not going out tonight. I spent the entire night working in my classroom. I don’t like the way things are arranged. I feel like our transitions between the carpet and their desks is too confusing, I didn’t like that my stuff was within hand’s reach when they lined up at the door, and I felt like we needed more posters that show appropriate behaviors.

I also feel like I didn’t have enough reinforcements. I used the same system that I used in student teaching. I have two jars of marbles. Whenever the class is doing as they’re supposed to, I move a marble into the jar. Whenever they’re not listening or misbehaving I take a marble out. I think there’s probably 30 marbles that they have to earn and then we get a party.

They have zero marbles right now. Technically, they’re in the hole a couple of marbles. But I told them we could start fresh on Monday.

il_340x270.781218360_im1oSo I made a clip chart tonight. I used five colors: white is in the middle and they can move up to blue and green when they’re good. They can move down to yellow or red when they’re begin bad. There is a clip for each student. It was a lot of work.

But I think the clip chart will help. The students that finish the day on green can get 5 tickets, then 4 and 3 and they get zero tickets if they’re on yellow and red.

Also, if they’re still on red at the end of the day, they have to write a note to their parents and get it signed.

This is what Betty does in her classroom and she says she wouldn’t be able to get through the year without one. So that gives me hope.

My students are just so mean to each other. They’re also arguing and stealing from each other.

They’ve stolen ever dry erase marker I’ve left out and all of my dice that we used for an activity.

The problem is that there isn’t much in the ways of punishment at the school. Sending students to the office is a waste of time because they get out of class (which is what they want) and they’re sent right back.

I’ve been keeping students in during recess when they don’t finish their work but I think some of them like the extra attention.

I feel like I’m doing a terrible job. We’re going to start reading groups next week and I have no confidence that I grouped my students correctly.

I also haven’t been keeping up with grading their math worksheets so that’s probably how I’m going to spend my time this weekend on top of lesson planning.



3 thoughts on ““Finally, it’s Friday” Friday September 23, 2016

  1. You are not doing a terrible job. You are still learning how to do this really difficult job. Moreover, you are learning how to do it with little or no support, dropped in at the last minute as a long term sub. The classroom and the materials aren’t yours. Moreover, the student’s behavior issues are in no way a reflection upon you–that’s the baggage they arrive with. You are playing an incredibly frustrating game of whack a mole. Your experience, though, is not that different from other new teachers. I think back to my first couple of years and it’s hard for me not to cringe at some of things I did wrong or got wrong. I think the key is to keep doing what you are doing: trying different approaches and ideas to find what works and what doesn’t. Eventually, you will develop a deeper rapport with these kids, and you will start to win them over. You probably won’t win all of them, but you will get most of them. And then when the year is over, ask yourself: is this what I want to do? If the answer is still yes, then you know you’re a teacher. I hope this helps.


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