the seeming survivalJanuary 15, 2008
Here’s how it went down: I had one day of class in which I met with my principal to discuss my plan for classroom organization. After that, I went to class, performed the classroom discussions on classroom procedures (as suggested by the principal) and watched them fall to pieces before my eyes save one. That one was good. We laid out some good principles for classroom behavior and expectations, and I think it went well.
Next comes the four-day school trip to Albuquerque.
One day of rest and preparation.
Back to the grind yesterday. I had decided that, since the principal’s plans didn’t work, I would use my own. For the two percussion classes I devised (at the suggestion of the Mrs. Head) to give them free-day opportunities. If they are quiet and productive for 15 minutes, they will earn 15 minutes toward a Free-day Friday. After an hour’s worth of earnings, the Free-day process will be activated, and we’ll proceed to the gym for games and fun.
It worked! One class almost got their first 15 minutes, and the other class did get 15 minutes. Instant results! Extrinsic Value!
In the full band class, I offered candy if they could complete a little training about getting in the classroom quickly and quietly. I timed them, they succeeded, twice. So, the deal was, not only do they get the candy, but they also get to have the four minutes after the bell to get ready (which is a far cry from the previous requirement: be in your seat ready to play by the bell). They seemed pleased with this, and we are experimenting with this time allowance and how it will affect classroom procedures all week long. If it works, it stays. If not, it goes, and we figure something else out. I think its gonna stay.
I have my first formal observation on Friday. I meet with the assistant principal today about what is going on in my class. I hope it goes well. I’m feeling much more confident this morning than I did yesterday at this time. I suppose that’s a sign of progress in and of itself.
Thanks to the all the teachers who have helped so far! We’re not out of the woods yet, but I think I see a clearing.