Today, I felt
like a teacher in every single class. I didn’t feel like my job was a joke once. I was reminded that making seating charts is always a GOOD idea, even if they are not perfect, and students yell for the first two minutes of class. I simply ignored any questions about seating and happily got students to work, and my classes were magically infinitely better. Upon Lemov’s suggestion in Teach Like a Champion, I placed students in paired rows. I would endorse this arrangement since it really does focus students forward on the teacher, minimize distraction, and create space, while allowing students a partner to collaborate with. Just as a sidenote, I used several of Lemov’s techniques in class today, and they yielded clear results in student responses and understanding
I guess I must admit that there was a point when I looked up during fourth period and G was adjusting his pants in the corner and asked me to fix his belt while R was sleeping and HH was being horribly explicit about female parts, but I got it under control and got them working on their projects fairly quickly. And I fixed a belt that was in pieces at the same time. Kids told me they would rewrite edited pieces tonight. The Pigman’s legacy lives on in students’ eagerness! Fourth period does semi-real work every day now!
Our half day felt pretty classy for me, but the after school pd was painfully bad/humorous in that way where you have to laugh or else you will tear out your hair. I wish I could quickly depict how absurd it was, but I guess all I can give you is the fact that it lasted from 12:30 to 4:20, involved a lot of messy group work that was supposed to demonstrate the usefulness of students working together, and yielded drawings of Lincoln and Hiroshima supposedly from the perspective of a person who experienced it (the accuracy of this image was actually debated by our faculty, and it was a huge cloud raining reddish drops, drawn by a faculty member, unprompted by the instructional strategy being covered, looking like it either belonged in the MOMA or on an overly proud mamma’s fridge). I can’t describe it better than that.
Alright, I leave you with this choice exchange that started my day. Setting: right by the front office.
t: where was you yesterday?
me: i told you where i was going - you don’t remember?
t: nah, where was you yesterday?
me: i was in a magical placet: yeup, you was gettin high
me: nope! i was observing some really great charter schools in raleigh
t: mmhhhmmmm, gettin high!!!
bunch of other students standing around: guffawing loudly