Thanks for the advice. Today went okay, pretty well. I was
enthusiastic and tried to be funny and simply dismiss the information I
had received about the students. I pretended that they were all
wonderful students, and I talked to them honestly about what I expected
from them. I told them that I know that they sometimes have to put up
walls and a tough exterior because of the way people and teachers have
treated them in the past. I told them that they can leave those
attitudes at the door because I would be real with them. I told them
that the class can go one of two ways...They can show me respect, and
we'll have a fun time, and I'll totally have their back and be there to
support them, or they can give me trouble and lose the fun. I told
them that we all make mistakes and that I'll never give up on them if
they show me that they want to change. I told them that they need to
be responsible and show me the best of them, show me the side of them
that makes them proud, makes me proud and makes their family proud.
I went over the rules and procedures and tried to be funny. I
demonstrated how not to enter my room, and I ran around the room
giggling, knocking over chairs and dropping my stuff everywhere. I
actually hurt myself! The kids were cracking up and thought that I was
crazy. It was a good moment. I told them that I don't want to hear
anyone talking about anyone else's momma because they don't know their
moms and shouldn't be talking about them. This got a laugh too.
I asked them about their expectations of me and this class and
explained that I was asking these questions because I respect their
opinions and am not here to be a dictator but to be the best teacher
that I can be for them.
I know that I'm going to have trouble with some of them because a few
were already acting up. I asked them their names and wrote them down
and explained that I would not hesitate to call home the very first
day. If any of them give me trouble tomorrow, I am doing just
that...calling home because I want to show that I'm serious from the
So far the kids seemed excited, which is actually different from the
last term. Many of those kids seemed unhappy to be here, but most of
these kids seemed like they wanted to be here. Many told me that they
love to draw. Many want to do clay, but I don't know if that will be
At the moment, I'm feeling inspired. It was a good day. I didn't
yell, I didn't get upset. I simply asked those who were being
disrespectful to think about why they were choosing to be that way.
One said that he didn't know, and I said, "It was an accident, wasn't
it?" He looked down and said "yes miss." I smiled and said, "well
that's okay. I'm sure you'll do better next time."
I'm now reevaluting my plans for the week...trying to decide exactly
how I want to set up the nine weeks. Several of them want to work on a
group project, which I haven't done yet with a class. Has anyone done
any cool group projects that the kids enjoyed. I really want to tap
into what they want. I don't want to lose the enthusiasm that I saw on
their faces today.