Monday, October 12, 2009

LOTS of room to improve - how am I doing with WBT and RR so far?

Long weekend. Time to reflect. Time to assess my performance.

It's not good.

My goals:

ABI (continue)
* I get an A here.

Of course, I have been doing this for a while now. Still love it. No trouble.

Whole Brain Teaching
* Trouble An F. Maybe a D-. [Using my ABI grading scale: I!]

I began strong, and the kids do know they need to keep me happy by making smart choices. I also adopted an idea from a WBT post about beginning the class with high energy each day by having pairs work with review cards. Fine.

I am not so fine with remembering to use all the gestures I brainstormed while relaxing on my deck last summer. I am not so fine with remembering to stop and have partners teach-okay bits of instruction. As soon as I began teaching familiar lessons, I fell back into old habits. This I can remedy, beginning tomorrow.

Raising Responsibility
* Shaky at best. D+/C- [Using my ABI grading scale: I!]

On the plus side, I have eliminated behavioral detentions - with one exception, I'll get to that! - and increased student conferences. The kids I speak with do try to improve behavior, even without detentions. I am building relationships earlier in the year than in the past. All good.

On the minus side: I forget, forget, forget to ask questions that elicit self-reflection when I am in the moment in class. I am still essentially issuing reminders and then removing kds (detouring to another classroom) when they do not turn it around. This is not how it is supposed to be.

Also in the minus column: I did not know how to marry the RR idea with the Academic Detentions I have traditionally issued to those who do not complete work before Friday. Grades do not motivate my kids, and I don't give bad grades anyway. The only consequence for falling behind is that detention. I decided I must continue with Academic Detentions, even though I feel it is counter to the tenets of RR.

Finally: Confession time.

We have one class this year that is, shall we say, uncooperative. There are a handful of hyperactive students who demand constant attention. Others in class behave poorly as well, feeling that as long as they are not as "bad" as the multiple heavy-hitters, they won't be chastised. It is bad.

I shut down last week. Stopped teaching. Had kids work silently and independently for the period. Commented sadly that this is NOT how I like to teach, but if the class chooses Anarchy and Bullying, then I am capable of moving into Bossy teacher mode. I pointed out that I had not been giving behavior detentions -- but will begin if this is what this class, by their behavior, needs. Before the end of class, I gave a half-dozen behavior detentions, many to those who are *not* heavy-hitters.

The interesting thing is, because of the conferences with most disruptive kids, these did the best at buckling down when I got tough. They tried harder to meet my expectations - at that moment, if not before! - than the rest of the class.

So, even though I still have a LOT to improve upon, I feel the benefit I just from the conferencing is enough to give me a (barely) passing grade.

No comments:

Post a Comment