Students feed off of a teacher's energy. I am a high energy, always moving around the room type of a teacher. Guess what? I bringout the hyper in my students! I'll finally admit it- I teach them to be rowdy. SO this is a mixed bag though. It is true in retrospect, all of my classes are sooooo calm in the beginning of the year. They have been well trained to sit and listen, or pretend like they are listening. Then they get to my class and I am begging them to get out of their seat, forcing them to meet everyone in the class and talk, talk, talk. Move, read and talk, move,talk and make- Listen- now write. Soon there is not a safe seat oin the house for the gabbers, because they know everyone. Students expect when they get to my class, they are FREE! Guess what? Thats what I want for them. I want them to feel free and creative and unafraid and taking risks.
But I still have some ways to go in perfecting this "freedom". My optimism keeps me in denial about the truth that some kids do not know how to transition or turn on and off, or on and then down. For me, my way seems to work well with Seniors, but my 11th graders, especially the hormonal 16 year olds-- cannot calm down after I have cracked the seal.
I have to address my part in this and the truth that they need practice in situational appropriateness. Structure in my class can be where they can get that practice. Today my 11th graders seats were in rows instead of grouped in fours. First thing out of one of my hormonal boys was, "I like this, it makes me look straight ahead." Not what I want him to do, but what he might need to do as he practices focusing on the appropriate behavior for each of our different class activities.
I also was waaaayyy mellow this morning and spoke in a low, slow voice( not like Bueller, Bueller- but soothing). They were chill. I did some document analysis modeling , and then we did some together. We had a focused discussion about political bosses and progressives- and sourcing and corroboration. They took a two minute break, got into groups for political cartoon analysis and small group discussions, and finished off with a constructed response using evidence.
I wasn't tired and they learned a lot.