W3- Teaching

Standard

As part of BTSA, my beginning teacher induction program, there are 6 areas that require special focus/best practices to masters.  They are as follows:

  • Engagement
  • Environment/Management
  • Curriculum
  • Assessment
  • Lesson planning/Design
  • Professionalism

Since this position officially began for me in December, I am at the start of the BTSA program.  On Monday I had to fill out this form where I listed my 3 strenghts and 3 areas of improvement.  This is what I listed:

Strengths                                                                  Areas to Improve in:

  1. Engagement                                          1. Curriculum
  2. Environment/Management             2. Assessment
  3. Professionalism                                  3. Lesson Planning/Design

So again, this was the list I made and sent off to my mentor on Monday.  Monday at school, I would say I did an awesome job in the categories under strengths.  I have always had a good rapport with students, getting them engaged in the lessons, making the environment positive and fun, being professional and treating everyone as special worthy students….Those three things are kind of natural for me, kids typically like me and we are able to get the job done while having an overall good time. That said…Tuesday and Wednesday were awful.  My students, not all but many, were being really difficult.  They were challenging me on all levels behaviorally speaking, and they were not being respectful to each other or me…I ended up using my mean teacher voice the majority of the day, and felt like the kids pretty much hated me…or were at least really happy that my partner would be back the next day and they could have a break from me.  Like I said before, this isn’t typical, usually I am the favorite.  I should mention though, that I did an exceptional job teaching/performing in the areas of improvement.  We had a technical glitch and I couldn’t use the smart board lesson I planned, so I had to think of a new lesson on the spot…It was super fun, everyone was involved, and I was able to assess who understood the material and who didnt.  Thus showing that I knew the curriculum, was able to design an interesting lesson and also assess their knowledge all on the spot.  I subbed for another school on Thursday, half day Kindergarten and half day third grade.  Those kiddos loved me, gave me hugs, and said they hoped I would be back soon because they really liked me…

These three days caused me to really reflect on my teaching, try to figure out what I was doing wrong, my approach, and really look at upper graders and primary graders as separate entities.  I realized that my strengths and areas to improve upon are opposite now.  Last year when I was teaching first grade, this is how it was…but now, it’s a different playing field.  I realized that with the younger kids they naturally love me, but with the older kids I have to earn their respect…Lesson planning/design is easier with the older kids because they have longer attention spans and I can go much deeper in the curriculum with them, I can expect more from them and be able to determine/assess their understanding more clearly due to their more mature levels of communication.  I spoke with my mentor and we decided to make my focus behavior management.  She gave me some suggestions that would be more useful/productive and get my points across without pushing me to get frustrated.  I think I was letting them get to me and worrying too much about if they liked me or not…

Tomorrow I will begin a new behavior strategy that my mentor recommended. I subbed in my class again on Friday and told the kids about it. They seemed nervous but they liked it.  It basically takes the talking out, I don’t have to say anything, they know if they are doing the wrong things…I just write their name on the board as a warning, then a check if they keep going, and another check if they continue…no arguing with me, if they argue, that’s a check…The checks represent them losing recess- which is huge for these social butterflies…I think it will be effective.  I won’t have to nag them and then annoy myself for being a nag, and they will have a consequence that they really won’t want to endure…I will let you know how it goes.  I am excited about this and feel like it will give me the control I need to guide them into being successful scholars…That’s another change too, I am calling them scholars now…I took that from my son’s teacher…There are a lot of great teachers out there and it benefits me to use things that are working for other’s and bring it into my own classroom.

 

 

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