The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Feb 15 2013

No Love On V-Day

Day 101: I did not, unfortunately, feel the love on Valentine’s Day.

Nothing felt easy. 6A’s lesson was too short, and I found myself trying to keep kids on task with extra credit assignments. 6D seemed to exist in a perpetual state of chatter, and I probably asked JPV to get back on task eight times.

The real low point was 6C. The lesson itself was just unfocused. A marker exploded in JT’s pants, causing a 5-minute-long distraction. The boys kept shouting out. Nothing I’d call a train wreck, but just not at the level of efficiency we’d been working toward all week. We actually had observers at one point during the second block, and it was frustrating – to put it mildly – that I was counting down and not seeing kids take seats in time, or get quiet in time.

This, of course, is easy enough to shake off. Harder to shake off was the premature end to a long-awaited relationship thaw. AM showed up crazy from 2nd period, chasing KA through the room. When I told her to wait outside, the smile evaporated, and the student who spent two months disrespecting and dismissing me came back. She shouted at me when I told her to follow a direction to put her hand up. She mocked me speaking. She spoke under her breath.

I made one last attempt at resolving things between us with a conversation after class. I let her know that I was proud of how much more she’d been respecting me. But the talk did not fly. Too much attitude. Too dismissive. I had to refer her to the office, where she demonstrated pretty much the exact opposite of contrition. This morning, she refused to look at me, or pretty much stand being in my presence.

I say it to myself all the time – you will never have everyone like you. That said, to come so close with this student, and then have it fall apart … Well, that sucks.

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher


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