Teaching Without a Voice (Day 1)

Like I said yesterday, it's interesting how the whole dynamic of the classroom changes when you can't raise your voice. It would have been better if I refused to raise my voice, and wasn't just limited to a hoarse whisper. Still, when I did keep my voice within its limitations I noticed how for the most part the classroom was quiet. Because the kids had no choice to listen. And most of the kids did. Problems arose because of the same few kids who never seem to listen or do their work.

Ultimately I am exhausted (and sick) but I am not discouraged. I hold myself accountable more than the kids for the misbehavior that takes place in my class. It's clear I still haven't gotten full control and more than anything it just feels easier because I've developed a tolerance for the chaos and disrespect that occurs routinely.

I am frustrated that the misbehavior is starting to actually tear apart the fabric of my classroom community. Kids are calling each other stupid, telling each other to shut up and worse. This is my main priority right now aside from preparing my students for the ELA exam: creating a classroom community that is more cohesive and safe for all my students to focus on learning instead of constant drama.

Comments

subtext said…
I have taught a couple of times for a few days each time without a voice. It was interesting. I made up a bunch of signs to hold up: take out a pencil, open your book: things like that. I wrote a lot on the overhead. The kids thought it was funny, and oddly, especially since this was near the beginning of my life as a teacher, they cooperated with me. I've used the same thing sometimes even when I have my voice back. It is interesting that sometimes not talking to the students creates more of a communication than speaking.

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