Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Skin is Getting Thicker

Another week is done. On Fridays the essentials team (art, music, pe & tech) are put on different tasks instead of seeing students. Today I will be venturing up to the 7th/8th grade Science room to help. I wish I could say I was excited about spending more time with the tough ones. I am certainly learning that their anger, hurtful words and flat out disrespect are not entirely directed at me or the adults in the building. They have learned these behaviors, habits and lack of respect from many parts of their lives. Unlearning and breaking these habits will be tough but necessary to change the culture of the building.
Yesterday the principal popped in to my area and room to informally observe me with the 8th graders. I was not jazzed about the idea because the group is extremely difficult just to get in the room to sit for a lesson. However, she got to see first hand how a few of the students behave during instruction. She ended up escorting one out of the room for disruptive behavior. I wish I knew how to engage them and be able to keep classroom management intact. I've tried to show them some cool tech tools during the electives block at the end of each day but a handful just want to play coolmathgames.... which has about five games that actually have math value.
We had another teacher decide to resign, making it three.  I get the work is hard and it really will take a lot of perseverance to stay the course with these kids. I just don't like that the middle school students could see the second teacher's exit as a sign they have power over the situation.

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