Is It Too Late for a Fresh Start?

You don't get a second chance at a first impression. That's a painful reality I'm coming to terms with as I wonder how to get my restless, talkative, sometimes hyperactive, and sometimes downright disrespectful students under control. I want to reinvent myself, and reinvent our classroom, but if today was any indication, that's easier said than done.

The first thing I told my students when I picked them up was that it was time for them to start acting like a team. Everyone's actions affect each other. No one would be allowed to act like they could do whatever they want.

It seemed to work. We walked up three flights of stairs in orderly silence. Everyone, even Baby Face, had a peace sign in the air and a finger on their lips. Do I like this sort of Draconian measure? No, but I wanted to just make a point about working together, and following directions. But our initial success as a team, didn't last all day.

As usual, the main issues that arose today were during lunch and prep. But, I think this problem still speaks to a systemic flaw in my classroom community. On top of that, I still felt myself repeating directions constantly, redirecting constantly, and just losing my temper by the end of the day.

So, where do we go from here. For one, I'm going to try to be much more consistent and constant with whole-class praise/incentives. Secondly, I'm going to try to use the field trips I've planned for us as some sort of leverage. Thirdly, I'm going to try to communicate all my redirects through whispers/post-its. This is easier said than done when you need a student to stop talking during independent reading while you're doing guided reading from across the room, but it's a worthwhile goal nonetheless.

It may be too late to start over. But, it's not too late to try something new. A change needs to happen, and it can't happen with the same old approaches that have failed.


Fear the Fellow said…
I feel you. Consistency is so important, yet so hard to come by. I am also hoping to reinvent myself and my classes. If anything works for you, please share! Good luck!

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