I have this dread about a certain student in my class. None of the interventions I am trying seem to be working. He knows I can impose no consequence on him. There's no use in sending him to the office. He disrupts my class constantly. Most days, I feel like I've just survived the lessons of the day.
I also have dread about things I haven't planned for well. It seems like there just aren't enough hours in the day, and I always feel like I'm behind or forgetting something. Just this afternoon, I realized, while I had planned for the whole day, I completely forgot to copy the homework for the grade level. My technology completely messed up and that was my whole lesson. One student in my class said to me, "Mrs. Orr, I think you've lost everybody." How frustrating.
I know that dread is a result of fear...and it is sinful for me to not trust God with even the seemingly minor details in my classroom. But I'm finding it increasingly difficult to go in with a fresh start when what I want to do is completely overhaul my teaching style. And I'm not sure that's possible in March. And even if it were possible, I don't know where I'd start!
I am starting some new things tomorrow. I will make a "tattle tub" to hopefully reduce some tattling problems I have. I am going to have a reflection sheet for the student to fill out before the day even begins. This will hopefully difuse anger that he has from home before he even starts the day, and give him the choice to start his work or cool down in a quiet spot. I also have a "I need help" sheet. While I seem to have an incredibly chatty class, I also have 3 students in particular who are just as quiet. They rarely ask for help, even one-on-one. So I am hoping that, given the opportunity to quietly write out their needs, they'll be able to let me know more that they need assistance.
I am also going to try a token economy. Have any other teachers tried this? I was wary to start this, but it seems like my lottery system isn't working with this one student in particular, and a point sheet/behavior contract just makes things worse. As much as I hate to do this, I may even start using plain old food as reinforcement.
One more thing. I used to love getting to know my campers at the YMCA. I really enjoyed forming good relationships with them, and I never thought that'd be an area of weakness for me now. But it seems like I've let all the "to do" things get in the way of actually getting to know my students. So once a week I'm going to have lunch in the classroom with a small group. It's hard to give up my break/planning time but I hope this will prove a valuable investment.
I just want to be the teacher that God has called me to be. I want to glorify Him in my classroom, and even if I can't change every student I want to know that the Lord worked through me. I want to let Him work through me. I want to walk by the Spirit and not by my flesh. I want to have joy, not dread, in this calling.