Sunday, January 11, 2009

The First Week

I have completed my first week at Buttress as a new teacher. I have several challenges to overcome, including no longer having access to the digital projector I used last semester to display PowerPoint presentations. Another challenge is handling students accustomed to Mr. D's overly lax (for these unruly children) classroom management style.

After speaking to the media center, I have been assigned a TVator. This allows me to display presentations on my classroom tv. I can't use standard PowerPoints because of the smaller display size, but am still delighted to be able to use PowerPoints at all. It appears that size 48 font is large enough for everyone to see- I just have to use more slides per presentation. I am overjoyed to have this ability again, because it makes sharing good notes a lot simpler and more effective.

I started every class period of the first day by reading my classroom rules. Some of this first week has been rocky, but there have been some successes, as well. My Thursday 7th period class (33 students, 80% repeat for this subject) was the BEST behaved ever. Of course, I was giving a quiz, and repeatedly warned that I would deduct some or all points for talking...and mentioned I had already given 10 0s that day during 3rd and 4th period!

The really high point of every day is my 6th period, History of Augusta class. This is a single semester class, so I get to set the tone in this class, and I love it. I used the opportunity of our first quiz on Thursday to call about six parents, and advise that their child had just scored an A, and I just wanted to let them know...Not that it's all peaches and cream. I also "dropped" one student for bringing me bogus choices for a make-up assignment to find several movies that could tie in with people or groups who had lived in Augusta or the time period covered by the first two chapters. Sorry, The Day the Earth Stood Still, I am Legend, and Seven Pounds don't qualify at all. We'll see if I can find a way to generate the same kind of enjoyment and control in my other classes.


Old NFO said...

Good luck JR! Teaching is patience personified. I admire you for doing it, I know I couldn't! Bad enough being a military instructor when the students had a vested interest in learning the material!

Matt G said...

I want you to do this, and succeed.

I know that you *will* be successful, but I want you to know how much I want to see that.

These kids will stagger, then fall into step, then dance out of your class. Some will be happy to leave. Many will be happy to have come.

J.R.Shirley said...

Thanks, gentlemen. They don't have to like me, but I can't say how happy I'll be if they learn to love the material. History, in a very real sense, is life.

Home on the Range said...

I had a teacher like you back in high school. Made every difference in the world as to how my life turned out.

J.R.Shirley said...

Thank you, Brigid. That means a lot.