Monday, 12 September 2016
Chaos Needing Organised
This afternoon I don't know what was going on, but I felt as if my class was a right disgrace. I was counting down the minutes until it was over! Usually I only teach my SOS class on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Dot teaches them on Mondays without me. But, Dot is away this week so I offered to take them to not disrupt the flow of learning by having a reliever.
The Monday-itis other teachers often talk about became apparent very quickly! I don't know what it was but they were bouncing off the walls, crazy loud and ignoring many of my instructions. I don't think they were disrespecting me, they were just in weird headspaces and distracting and disrupting others, feeding off one another.
I left feeling a little lost as to what was going on, what went wrong and what needed to change in prep for future lessons. I went straight to the gym and sweated out my frustrations with how the lesson went. After reflecting a little I wondered what I was doing or not doing during the class. I have been trying hard recently to not blame the kids for bad behaviour, or lack of engagement in class, because at the end of the day it must be down to my instructions and/or classroom management.
Our PTC agenda after school was timely; classroom management. We had lots of discussion around planning for management, having a clear understanding of the school management model and having support people when you are really in trouble. One key thing I took away from the meeting was setting clear expectations at the beginning of the year, and sticking to them. For instance if headphones is a no no for someone in Term 1, headphones are a no no for everyone the whole year - this may reduce any "But Miss you said..." replies from students.
I feel as if classroom management was something we never really discussed, experimented or explored during uni, it was something I was thrown into at the start of the year. Learning on the job so to speak. I do feel I have come a long way since the beginning of the year, but still have considerable room for improvement still!
Some simple management styles/techniques I have developed include; waiting for silence as opposed to talking over the students, relating to my high expectations of students often (especially when they aren't fulfilling these expectations), using countdowns with my fingers or my voice and saying "I will only give these instructions once". Although these techniques are not gold, and don't work all the time, they are things I come back to. I am open to any and all tips!