I really do attribute the frustration I felt in my last post to the change in weather. I felt a lot better the next day. Also, I was put on another team. Yay another meeting! (insert pom poms and back flips). We've now started student support teams. I am on the freshman/sophomore team since I mostly teach underclassmen. It actually turned out to be the most productive team I've been on yet and we've only had one meeting.
We look at data to see which students have 5 or more absences and who are failing. Then, as a team made up of teachers, administrators, guidance counselor, coaches, and social worker, we brainstorm. We compare student behaviors in different classrooms and collaborate on ways to connect with the student, get them involved and engaged, and hopefully create some new positive experiences at school. I felt hopeful because we talked about some of the students I was so frustrated with previously.
I recommend you go back and read the comments from my last post. What I took from them is to focus on the positive and that will change my outlook which will influence the classroom culture. Also, I know that I have improved 100% in my teaching since last year and I am offering my students the very best of me. It is their choice to learn. I will do my best to influence that choice while accepting that I can't make it for them. And when they are ready to learn, I will still be teaching at a 100% better level than before.
Another positive thing that I did was to have a discussion with the class that I dread the most. We talked about other teachers they like and learn from and what I gathered is that I need to do a better job of breaking things down step by step. I also need to give students more chances to do examples in front of me during class so I can correct and redirect. (I threw that in just to rhyme. My flow is getting rusty.) I have not been assigning homework. We decided that if I assign 2-5 problems a day, I still will not letter grade them but I will check for completion. We will go over the problems in class so students can correct their mistakes. If you get 3 zero's which is basically 3 missing assignments, you get a written office referral. This is a rule that other teachers enforce which I'm not sure I was aware of, but that seems to work for the students. They agreed that the amount of problems was low enough that there really was no reason not to do it. And once again, the consistency monster roared it's head. They liked classes where the teacher did what they said they would do and enforced the rule at 3 missing assignments- no more, no less.
What I am learning from all of this productive frustration is that, I need these feelings. Enduring these feelings is helping me get to the place I need to be in order to really implement classroom management. It is helping me to distance myself from taking every hit personally. I can now be more objective and stay firm.
This is the way we are doing things. Each choice has a consequence. You decide. You live with the consequence. You suck it up and take it like a big kid.
If you don't like it, make another choice. If you do like it, then keep making the same choice.
This, my friend, is learning.