Thursday, September 2, 2010

What you want to hear

and what you need to hear are two very different things (mostly).

I think it was my second year of teaching when I got the wake up call I needed to get my act together with classroom management. The principal at my first school had told me in my summative that she thought that I had massive potential, but needed to work on my management (as she handed me a book entitled something like Basic Behavior Management). I just didn't get it. I kind of thought it was a problem, but not how to fix it (I do remember crying to my boyfriend that, "the kids just don't respect me at all"). The book was not very helpful either (bless her for trying). I changed schools after that year (to move closer to my new home with boyfriend turned DH). At my new school, everyone was great, but I really had trouble with getting my students not only where they needed to be academically, but actually where they needed to be (like library, cafeteria, not in each other's faces, etc...).

Until that fateful day...

The whole school was at an assembly and my students were acting like hooligans. I was sitting to the side giving glances (not that anyone was paying attention). Not awfully long into the presentation, another teacher came up to me (actually marched up to me if I'm being honest). She looked at me and said, "You need to get yourself up out of that chair and get your class under control because they are ruining this for everyone and making the whole school look bad." I was taken aback (and really angry because how dare she treat me like a student?). But then, I did get up and pull some kids out and pretty much lay it down (the smack, that is). I went home and thought/lost sleep over my teaching style. The next day, I asked to go to a PD all about behavior and discipline, and my principal instantaneously said yes (that couldn't be good).

I'm so glad she did give me the kick in the backside that I needed even though it was hard to hear. Because now, after all these years, the quirkers, they are my favorites.


  1. Loved this post. Did you ever tell that teacher the effect her words had? Hope your year is off to a great start! :)

  2. Thanks for the comment! My year has started really well. I did thank her (she totally had no idea what I was talking about).