Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Inspiration and more

The principal came in today to observe me in the classroom. Now there was not much direct instruction going on because the students were writing an essay so he'll be back next Thursday to conclude his observations and then give me the news. Now it was on purpose that the kids were doing an essay. Not so much because I was afraid to teach in front of him, but because this class has been out of control since August and they have not changed even with TWO teachers in the room.

So yesterday I finally had a "Come to Jesus" talk with them and I gave them this assignment. "You will go home and think about what kind of class you want this to be. You can A: change your behavior and we can have some fun and interesting projects, or B: It will be nothing but worksheets and if you open your mouth, you're gone. You as a class tell me which way this is going to go, because it's up to you, not the instructors."

So today when they come in, I have them vote and they decided that they didn't like the enviornment and wanted to change how they behaved in class. Now you and I know that words are cheap and that actions matter. So I let the matter drop until the second half of the class when I gave them their writing assignment where they had do not only tell me what they did to turn the classroom into a grease fire, but what actions they personally were going to take to correct the situation. I made sure they knew that this was about them and their actions and not what they thought someone else needs to do. I'll be reading them this weekend and making comments and giving them a grade.

Next week should be interesting when I hold them to their words. That and I'll be teaching the unit that I blogged about earlier. It's very ambitious and will either be really cool or the Hindenburg part II. It will certainly be interesting to see how they respond to the meeting and if they were serious about their decisions and essays, because I sure as hell am.