The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 11 2012

Long Weekend, Long Day Back

Day 25: Long weekends are tricky. On the one hand, I really, really enjoyed my extra day of rest, made even sweeter by the fact that Tuesday was a professional development day. School without students and in jeans is almost always easier. Writing this very late on Wednesday, I’m confused how I let myself get behind already, but that’s another issue. I still loved my extra day to sleep in.

However, after four days absent from the classroom, kids forget some things. They forget how to line up silently. They forget how to turn off their voices during silent time. They forget to raise their hands before speaking. They forget how to ask for help in effective ways.

They forget, in other words, how to be effective and professional students who have mastered classroom structures and routines.

Mind you, today wasn’t terrible. Three classes came in, got their work done, and if I’m using data as the most relevant evidence, learned about variables. Still, five weeks of seeing my kids nail it means I cringe at just the first reminder to not talk during silent time, or the extra minute it took to line up silently. Having three or four kids struggle to the point of disrespecting me and their classmates was an unwelcome and unusual surprise.

I’ll be honest – I was a little rusty myself. I forgot to collect the homework in one class. I forgot to hand out the homework in another class.

All in all, today was a good reminder. Long weekends are great. But it’s probably worth an extra minute or two to think about how to structure my classroom for the infamous “Days When We’ve Forgotten What Class Is Supposed to Look Like.”

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
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