The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 04 2013

2013, And Seeking Thicker Skin

Day 75: Thursday is always a tough day. I don’t have any off periods, it’s entirely likely that I won’t eat lunch, I go straight from afternoon homeroom to the student council meeting I run, and I’m generally reduced to a brainless piece of mush by the end of the day.

Needless to say, the first Thursday after winter break was not high on my list of “things to be excited about.” By and large, however, it wasn’t half bad. All of my classes did their work, even if some were more efficient than others. Many students appear to have remembered something about what a cell is, which is highly exciting. Perhaps more importantly, many students appear to have remembered both my procedures and my super-corny core values.

I also ran up against a new frustration: AC in my homeroom. AC used to be an all-star, often giving up recess to stay in and grade tickets-to-go. That seems like ages ago. Now she complains class isn’t fun enough, fails to follow my procedures like SLANTing and clapping to get silent, and I can’t remember the last time she raised her hand to participate. More common is deep sighs and aloof picking at pencil lead.

In the short term, AC and I are having lunch tomorrow, even if getting her to agree to lunch took five minutes and felt like pulling teeth. In the long term, for the second day in a row, I’m invoking another element of my new year’s resolution. May 2013 be the year I finally grow a thicker skin. The reality is, AC gets her work done, and can’t be my concern. Kids in my room learn and succeed, thanks in large part to my structure. I can’t worry about a student liking me. That’s not my job.

Now, let’s see how that conviction holds up tomorrow …

Thursday is always a tough day. I don’t have any off periods, it’s entirely likely that I won’t eat lunch, I go straight from afternoon homeroom to the student council meeting I run, and I’m generally reduced to a brainless piece of mush by the end of the day.

Needless to say, the first Thursday after winter break was not high on my list of “things to be excited about.” By and large, however, it wasn’t half bad. All of my classes did their work, even if some were more efficient than others. Many students appear to have remembered something about what a cell is, which is highly exciting. Perhaps more importantly, many students appear to have remembered both my procedures and my super-corny core values.

I also ran up against a new frustration: AC in my homeroom. AC used to be an all-star, often giving up recess to stay in and grade tickets-to-go. That seems like ages ago. Now she complains class isn’t fun enough, fails to follow my procedures like SLANTing and clapping to get silent, and I can’t remember the last time she raised her hand to participate. More common is deep sighs and aloof picking at pencil lead.

In the short term, AC and I are having lunch tomorrow, even if getting her to agree to lunch took five minutes and felt like pulling teeth. In the long term, for the second day in a row, I’m invoking another element of my new year’s resolution. May 2013 be the year I finally grow a thicker skin. The reality is, AC gets her work done, and can’t be my concern. Kids in my room learn and succeed, thanks in large part to my structure. I can’t worry about a student liking me. That’s not my job.

Now, let’s see how that conviction holds up tomorrow …

About this Blog

Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Region
Greater Boston
Grade
Middle School
Subject
Science

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