This video about sums up the effectiveness of a parent phone call with my students. In case you can’t understand what the people are saying:
(In elementary school)
Teacher: I’m calling your parents.
Student: No! Pleeeeeeaaasssseee!
(In high school)
Teacher: I’m calling your parents.
Student: Home, cell, work – with extension!
Students aren’t phased anymore by the threat (or follow-through) of calling their parents. That’s why I’ve found that relying on the phone call home as a key part of a classroom management plan is a bad idea.
I’ve also noticed that a quick websearch for a workable classroom management plan turns up many results saying that a teacher should have one, but few results that actually detail what a good plan is. I’m going to give you the plan that I’ve spent six months developing. It works.
Since my past three posts have been about the stress that comes with being a first-year teacher, I thought I’d do a nice one.
One of the ::many:: surprises that has come with teaching is how much my students need me. Not all of them need me, but a significant number are actively seeking my approval, interest, affection, etc. It’s not in a “they come from bad homes and have no other positive adult role model” sort of thing (I don’t think)… It’s just that they really like me and want me to like them back.
This was a surprise for me for two reasons:
I saw this image on Pinterest the other day, and it really got my goat. I’m not sure if Michael J. Fox really said this (I hope he didn’t), but somebody said it, and that somebody had the wrong idea about teaching.
People who have never been teachers, or who haven’t been in the classroom for a while, seem to think they know more about teaching than the teachers do. Oh, just teach the way kids learn? Why have I never thought of that?!? Thank you, Michael J. Fox, for pointing out that totally-not-obvious idea.
Teachers are trying to teach the way kids learn. Continue reading
Earlier this week I was scouring the internet, as I often do, for signs that I’m doing something right, or doing something wrong, or doing something that should be changed, or just whatever! Just looking for some feedback about how I’m doing as a teacher.
I found this image (above) in a quick Google search. It goes along with this article about the different phases teachers go through in their first year of teaching.
The gist of the article is that teachers start out all happy to be teaching, but as the year goes on, they sink down into a bit of depression. They start questioning whether they are good teachers and whether they ever should have gone into this career in the first place.
I dropped my laptop on my toe when I was dragging it (the computer, not the toe) out of the closet to start this blog. I hope it’s not an omen.
If you read the “about me” page (but let’s face it, you probably didn’t, because blog readers are reckless creatures who like to read, and live, on the edge), then you know I’m halfway through my first year of teaching. I teach grade-level Algebra I and geometry at a pretty nice high school in a pretty big city.
In terms of demographics, the student population at my school is about 70% affluent (mostly white), and 30% in poverty (mostly African American and Hispanic). I teach the 30%.
I like “my kids” a lot, but the year has been rough. Most evenings have seen me at home, stressing out about how my students are failing and scouring the internet for any hint of what I might be doing wrong or whether this all is normal.