Monday, September 27, 2010


One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. ---Eleanor Roosevelt

It is currently 1:05 am on Sunday night/Monday morning. I will never drink coffee at 8:30 pm if I want to get a good night's rest. I am sure that if I tried to lie down, I could fall asleep if I really focused. But my mind is just completely all over the place at the moment.

I made a choice on Friday, expressing my philosophy, as the wonderful Eleanor Roosevelt states in the opening quote. I'm still thinking about it, even though voices of experience from those I admire tell me that it won't matter in the morning when I see the students again. It's just something I can't switch off.

Friday was a squirrelly day for the students. They were restless, most were in bad moods. I could tell that my partner and I were going to have difficulty keeping their attention. We did our best, often having to ask them to stop and pay attention so that they would have enough time to work on things. One student in particular, could not do this. Every time I turned around, he was poking another student, moving to distract the others, or just plain talking. I think I was coming across as the more timid practicum teacher of the two of us, so I felt I had to do something that would earn their respect. I stopped mid-sentence and said, "(Name), move to the back desk, now please."

You should have seen some of their faces. Some had to pick up their jaws off their desks.

I have been told by many an adult that it is much better to come on strong and pull back, than to try to be laid back and then demand order. I think that the students just viewed us as a type of substitute teacher, and therefore felt it was okay to test us. Looking back on it, I think there were a number of ways I could have handled it differently, especially because the gentleman did nothing but pout for the rest of the period. I felt bad after that, because this kid is a good kid. He just needs more creative ways to exert his energy. I need to think about this a lot more when I'm planning lessons. They all need more creative ways to exert their energy. My CT told me that it wasn't a bad thing what I did, but I still feel bad for calling this kid out. I'm sure when I see this kid in a few hours he won't even remember it, but it was my first time attempting to discipline.

I don't like being the type of person who has to take action for that sort of thing. I guess it's something I have to get over. My CT had to kick a kid out of class later that period, so if its any consolation to myself, I didn't have to deal with that. I need to become more fierce without being overly authoritarian. It's just a balance I will have to strike.

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