Ignore the awful cliche in the title, but I am too tired to be original. As I move farther from January I am trying to stay committed to my new year's resolutions (1. Make my bed every day, 2. Find a balance between work and the rest of my life, 3. become a more active blogger) which means forcing myself to blog in my unmade bed.
So here it goes:
I have created a block-by-block behavior tracker that is working really well with some of my students. It gives them a fresh start at each block and both an immediate and weekly goal to work towards. It did not work well with my lower students, but has given some extra motivation to two of my bright, but difficult students. It is available for download here: Weekly Behavior Chart.
Tomorrow during what will likely be a very intense parent-teacher conference I have to explain to a very traditional Muslim family what "the finger" means and why we can't give it in school. This is to the same family that came in distraught that their daughter had written that she "loved" a boy in her journal.
My students made my sub cry on Friday. They misbehaved to the point that a 30 year veteran teacher and regular sub in our building was so upset that my principal had to come down to speak to my students on Friday afternoon. Today we wrote apology notes "I am sorry I _______. Next time I will do ______" instead of going to recess.
We also had a behavior meeting in which we discussed our rules for the 100 millionth time and created a consequence bubble map of consequences that can happen as a result of bad choices. Did it work? Maybe for 10 minutes! I am trying to stay optimistic and give my best every day, but the reality is that the conduct in my classroom (including my own) is not where I want it to be. My classroom environment is not conducive to the academic and social-emotional gains that I came into this year expecting to make. The reality is that I don't know what else to do other keep a mild chaos from turning into a down right destructive environment. I have done my best to apply what I learned in school, from TFA, from COMP training, and what I have read in my classroom management books. Right now I am looking into purchasing materials from the Love and Logic Institute which was recommended to me by my MTLD. Hopefully you will see and update about the wonderful results I am seeing!
The thing I should be mad about, but honestly find really funny.
Last week at lunch one of my students was sent to the office for "pleasuring" himself with a corn dog. The office didn't find it nearly as funny as I did.