I left work today with a clear mind, not taking any work with me. I felt light and free to take care of myself and to know I could pay full attention to my partner when I made it home. Believe it or not, this is not very often the case. Don't know what formula brought this about, but I will take it.
I started my Monday with asking two of my juniors to start class and do the assignment in another classroom, as they were not ready to care about the class and were straight up laughing every time I asked them what behavior is expected of them in class. Class was a dream for the first hour. Then I invited them back to class for the second activity of the day and class changed.
I called the Dad of one of them and still haven't heard back. The other, I have met with his dad and I guess its time again. A colleague of mine said, "those boys need a behavior contract!"
Wow, I had never thought of that. I realized a couple things/issues about myself as I was asking my friend at work about this elusive behavior contract- 1) Not having rules growing up or ever being yelled at, I don't have a lot of modeling around "strictness". I was a good kid, so I deeply feel that if you are loving with kids they will behave(these boys are trying to prove me wrong). 2) I have some sort of block in asking for help (duh), but especially in this realm.
So a behavior contract entails getting the administrators and the parents and hopefully a couple of the teachers together, along with myself and the student, where we create a contract of how they will agree to behave and behaviors they will agree to not engage in. Sounds too good to be true- except for the asking for help part....
A-ha: I have never sent a student to the office and I want to be perfect. I need to do what is best for my class and the student; not what is best for my ego.
Reminder: Sometimes our students help us learn the hard way.