Saturday, September 10, 2011

1st week done!

I am sitting here doing what I promised myself I would not do...Lesson Plan marathon.  Due Monday.  When I think about it, it makes a little sense though.  I did not start teaching until November...

So I would say my first week was a success!  Some of the things that stick out in my mind are that I would not have had a successful week if not for the Harry Wong seminar and the wonderful book Discipline Survival Guide for the Secondary Teacher by Julia G. Thompson.  I went to the seminar and got the book right before school started.  My first week was strictly procedures and rules.  I know the first week they are on their best behavior but I have a good feeling.  I will be consistent!
I teach in a charter school and I am the only 7th/8th grade math teacher, this means that my 8th graders are the 7th graders I taught last year.  This is good and bad.  I love that I know them already, however last year they were the worst class in the history of the school.  They were only 32% proficient on NJAsk this year.  I probably would have been fired if my principal didn't convince the board it was not my fault!  I hoped that they would come back more mature, but it seems most of them are exhibiting the same behaviors.  Luckily I've learned to be a little firmer with them and I've gotten the reaction I wanted.  I have hope.
One of my new 7th graders asked me if I was being extra nice just because it was the first week.  I explained that  I will treat them the way they treat me,  so far they have been doing everything they were supposed to be doing exactly the way they should be and that is why we have a nice classroom environment.  They seemed to think about that a moment and were satisfied with the answer.
I also experienced a powerful moment when explaining that  "No gum chewing" is a school rule and that I enforce all school rules.  I told them that out of respect for them, I will not chew gum in class either.  They really liked that!
Ok, back to my plans!