The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Sep 10 2012

Serious Business

Day 4: In short, same story. I still feel like the king of the world. Specifically, I’m shocked at the degree to which I can sell very high expectations. The goal of class number two was to get my kids thinking about respect – one of my core values this year – by having them brainstorm their expectations for themselves, each other, me and the class this year. I said because it was a serious conversation, it needed to be silent, so everyone could think hard. Lo and behold, it was silent! And, mind you, this was after a silent Do Now, and silently listening to me explain consequences and rewards.

If you’re thinking, “That’s a lot of silence,” you’d be right. That is, in fact, a lot of silence. Group work begins in earnest tomorrow. However, much of the silence was silent thinking, and not silent listening. I have been telling the kids that I respect them to do serious work this year, such as setting the expectations for class. So far, my kids are more than meeting my expectations, and the tone is in that perfect space between diligent focus and goofy in the wings (I did get everyone to laugh with my “how not to give a consequence” demonstration).

Week 2 begins shortly. Let’s hope for more of the same!

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
Middle School

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