Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Comfort teaching

I admit, there is a certain type of teaching style that I feel the most comfortable presenting. I like routines, I like patterns. It helps me to keep track of the content I'm supposed to teach, student behavior, and the methods of presentation to maximize student focus and learning retention.

It may not be the best way - I'm working on perfecting it. It may not be the most effective at the time - working on that too. But I tend to fall back to this style when I'm stressed about other things, distracted, or just plain tired. Like I said, routines are good for me.

Today was one of those routine days. It's only the second day back from winter break, but it feels like we never left for it in the first place. Where was my wonderful vacation? The snowboarding? The cookie baking? The good-food-eating? The glorious ten hours of sleep each night and waking up at the luxuriously late hour of 8 AM?

Apparently, routines are good for students too. Well, I knew that, but I re-learned its importance today. I was only half-present in the classroom, but things still ran smoothly. Students got work done. We corrected misconceptions. We had some laughs and some fun. We practiced new things and it was mostly due to the routines I spent the first two months of the school year setting up.

In a way, this is sort of like seeing the fruits of my labor. I was a poor teacher today, but I must not have been so bad over the past four months or else today would have gone much worse than the few minor glitches, which are normal when dealing with 35 people at a time anyway.

Also today, the 7th/8th grade math teachers presented a DATA walk to the rest of the teaching staff. We were phenomenal, thankyouverymuch. It was a thoughtfully done presentation. And I'm really lucky to be part of this school.

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