The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 20 2012

Done With Attitude

Day 71: Just another day of mostly good, with a big side of hair-pulling frustration.

I’ll get the mostly good out of the way first, not to minimize it, but just because to be honest, writing about how a gallery walk is effective is only so exciting. That said … when a gallery walk works, it is really is kinda exciting. There’s so much content in the cells unit that my kids (and I) would all go crazy if I tried to teach it all via guided notes. So instead, they have embarked on the “Great Cell Adventure.” This means walking around to various one-pagers describing the organelles and filling out a graphic organizer to capture all of the information.

This is, in my view, the teaching equivalent of seeing a zipper on a monster costume during a movie. You can tell the disguise is half-baked; we’re looking at mostly notes here, people. That said, the kids were on task and getting some serious work done. I figure it must have been the cell adventurer hat I made, and let students wear if they were on-task.

That’s the good. The less good? Back to AM. Yells hi to two teachers in the hall? I’ll let that go. Talks a little and possibly on-purpose knocks over the snack bin? Ignoring it. During the Do Now, she sneezes, a few folks say bless you, she pauses, then loudly says, “Thank you to everyone who says bless you.”

To be blunt, this was one too many “screw you” moments. I politely and kindly told her it would be a warning next time she said “thank you” that loud in a silent room. She protested; I politely repeated that it would be a warning next time. Nearly done … until she muttered a parting shot under her breath as I left. I sent her to the office, immediately, and to be honest, lost my cool a little in the process.

Fortunately, the K-6 literacy coordinator had my back and helped me meet with mom afterschool. I don’t know what will change. But for now, AM now knows that if she shows me attitude, she won’t go to the office. She’ll be with me, for all of lunch and recess, writing as many times as she needs to: “I will not mutter disrespectfully under my breath.”

All I can say is, I still believe things can change. But I’d like some evidence to support that, ASAP. And in the meantime, just two more days.


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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

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