This was my first full week of teaching, minus the snow day, and it’s been a bit of hit and miss. Monday and Tuesday, for the most part, went very well. Wednesday and Thursday went ok, but already I’m struggling a little bit with the delicate dance of middle-school classroom management. Mostly it’s trying to keep the chattiness and side conversations down, but I also had a couple of minor incidents happen in class where I had to remove students. As well, there was an incident on Wednesday during the lunch hour that kind of set the tone for the rest of the week.
The Lunch Incident
An announcement came over the PA that any male teacher was to go to the cafeteria immediately. By the time I got there, things were under control so I didn’t get involved, but it turned out a student in each of my afternoon classes were involved in a fight. I don’t know the details.
Whatever it was, it was enough to get the afternoon classes off-track. On second thought, it was also enough to get the teachers off track and the staff room was buzzing about it even the next day. My co-operating teacher told me afterwards she usually spends about a half hour debriefing the students when a major incident like this happens, especially considering that a student in each class was involved. I think that would have been a good idea because they weren’t focused on math anyways, and at least then they might have gotten it out of their system. It could have also helped to stop more rumors from spreading.
Thoughts On The Week
It was my first week on my own, and I won’t lie, it was tough. I never thought this job was going to be easy though, and six weeks minus a week for exams is only going to be enough time to get a taste of it.
I will, however, end the week on a positive note. Three students separately came up to me and gave me positive feedback. One girl thanked me for teaching. One boy told me that I had a really good way of explaining things, and another told me because of the extra help I gave him his mother gave him back his cellphone. It’s the little victories like these that I’ll feed off.