Monday, September 19, 2011

Ducks in a row

Positive things that happened today:

- Grievances Boy came in for after-school tutoring today. He got all his math and most of his history homework done. He was not surly, nor rude, nor disrespectful. I had fun looking up the Bill of Rights for him on my teacher computer. This kid has deep-seated emotional and social issues that are way too low-brow for his intellect. He is my first tutor candidate for the year - note to self: get pre-tests made for Grievances Boy.

- I was asked last minute to attend a 2-day conference in Santa Clara. Soooooo glad I typically plan ahead anyway, or else sub plans would have been chaos. Also glad that tomorrow is a minimum day, and Algebra 1 is only taking a quiz. And Algebra Readiness is still doing easy-peasy things so no matter if the sub lied and said they can do math when they really can't, most of my kids will understand the material anyway. And the ones that don't will either ask their buddies in class or their case workers in resource

I'm kind of looking forward to the conference. I had no idea what it was going to be about when the math coach pleaded for me to go (Dept. Chair #1 refused to go, and the district had already paid for it). It sounds exactly like something up my alley - equity, accessibility, intervention, prevention, and all sorts of good stuff like that.

- I was WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY more consistent with behavior management today. I've been so excited with the start of school - and to be honest, I've been relying too much on my enthusiasm and cheerfulness to get through the day (which is good because it's positive and the kids get enthusiastic too, but bad because I get WIPED OUT and sometimes the kids get a smidge TOO excited). There is still structure, there is still calm, and I can still get everyone's attention within seconds of a consistently given and reinforced signal. Consistency = the first layer of my classroom management "to work on" list.

But really, I am so excited with this year's crop of kids. They are unbelievably positive, they try so hard, they have a lot of school spirit, and their basic math skills are much more solid than I expected. Already in the first 3 weeks, I've seen my AR kids grow a LOT. It's awesome.

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