I am trying some new strategies (it seems like a new one each week!) to motivate students and manage things better. I realize that I'm really inexperienced and I basically try anything. What works with one doesn't work with the other and what works on Monday bombs on Tuesday, but it does keep things interesting.
My reward system in class is a lottery system. Students who do a good job put their names on pink tickets. At the end of the week, I draw 7 tickets. My rewards are free things: shoes off for a day, draw and display something, read to the class, read in the bathtub (yes, I have a bathtub in my room), computer time in the morning. So my newest reward is to have lunch with me on Friday in the classroom. One encouraging thing is that a lot of kids have been choosing that. I realize that this is probably so they can escape the smelly cafeteria, but I'll take what I can get. I haven't completely bombed on the forming good relationships idea, I hope.
Today was definitely a Friday. I almost lost it. I am glad to be home and to have a husband who tells me 1) it's ok and 2) I'm not allowed to quit. Some days I want to.
There are some trials in my room lately. I have hope each day that it'll be different, but mostly, I know there are patterns of behavior that I can't fix overnight. The Lord is teaching me to start each day with Him, not "debrief" at the end of the day only. I'm starting to really value this time with my vanilla coffee and biblegateway.com.
I desperately do not want to be a negative teacher. I have seen what this can do day in and day out to a person, and I don't want to end up like that. I don't want to spend the next 20 years dwelling on the amount of conflict that has arisen in my classroom. I want to remain positive about my experiences and have joy even in the midst of trials. But how do you forget about those problems? Joel's advice is this: you always go home. At the end of the day, you leave it at work. And at this point, that's fabulous advice. I have had trouble sleeping with the things going on in my room, and I know that I'm not giving it to the Lord enough and I'm bring too much home.
Currently, I'm 2 days behind in my reading, word work, and science schedule. This is mainly due to behavior issues that are getting in the way. This is embarrassing to admit.
Lots of hilarious things happened today. So I'll end on a POSITIVE note :)
1) We were supposed to give out these Time for Kids booklets to our kids. They were to take them home and fill out the addresses of at least 7 friends and relatives so that the company could try get them to buy magazine subscriptions for the class. If they returned it, they got this freaking awesome bouncing putty. The kids were really motivated to sucker their parents into giving out the addresses of every aunt and uncle in the continental United States. As I flipped through Veronica's, I noticed my name. She had written in: Mrs. Orr. thanks for helping our school. And she put the school's address. Although I sometimes feel like I live in school, I had to explain to her that I definitely do not live here.
2) At the end of the day today, our assistant principal came over the intercom and had us spell out the word "FRIDAY"-yelling. One poor girl didn't hear this announcement. So all she heard was my entire class started SCREAMING the letters "F-R-I-D-A-Y.' She looked terrified. When she realized what was going on, she started yelling too, but I really could not stop laughing. I had to give her a (side) hug, I thought it was so cute.
3) I am reading The Hoboken Chicken Emergency with my kids. It's a fantastic book because there's lots of subtle humor in it. I'm reading it with my middle reading group to push them-there's lots of good vocab and they have to really read between the lines to get the joke. Basically, there's this giant girl chicken that is running amok in the town of Hoboken. So they hire this greasy used car salesman type to catch the chicken. He creates this "chickenoid" that is made to look just like him. Trying to explain to 8 year olds the words "irresistible chickenoid to attract Dirty Louise the chicken" might have been the funniest thing I've done in a while. Especially when Aiyahnna, frustrated that Caleb didn't get it, said "it means the chicken is hot!"
Happy weekend everyone!