The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 29 2013

Post-Long Weekend Blues

Day 162: Sometimes, you just get caught off guard. Tuesday morning started innocently enough. I had two classes come in and nail class. And that’s despite the fact that second period featured a skit on energy pyramids that totally bombed last year (ah, the wonders of improved management). I let myself think it was going to be an easy first day back.


You see, this wasn’t a Monday. It was a Tuesday after a long weekend. That means 50 percent more time had elapsed since my kids had been exposed to the structure and routine of my classroom. And I didn’t prepare accordingly.

Fourth period came in and about 10 students had consequences before the Do Now was over. Three students earned calls home, including a student whom I had not had trouble with all year. The fact that a part of the lesson allowed for unstructured wandering around the classroom didn’t help.

And then, eighth period – typically by most focused class – just could not stop making noise. Granted, the lesson was an unexciting review of food webs. However, that doesn’t excuse the inability to keep it together. I had them write notes on the backs of their exit tickets explaining how they could be better the next day. Of course, the students who needed to reflect the most wrote nothing, or “not talk,” while the students who had done nothing wrong pledged to have a better day.

Again, oops. In a questionable decision, I’m going to do another lab today; a structured at-your-desk-and-stay-calm activity might have been better. But there isn’t much school left. I’m going down swinging.

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