4 weeks, 1 day

Four weeks until school is out of session.  My first year of teaching is winding down — I am ready!  Yes I love teaching, but I am really needing this summer break right now.  Maybe I am too  used to being done the first week of May during college?  I have been counting down the weeks for 2 weeks now, unsure of how I am going to get through this last month!

A handful of the students that I encounter during the day are really wearing me down lately.  I don’t know for sure where I went wrong with them this year.  The respect is not there.  They don’t care about school.  They try to get me to blow up (or something).  It is like I am in their way, ruining their day, wasting their time.  If I try to talk to them or get them to be on task, they blatantly ignore me.

I have not lost my cool with these students yet this year — maybe this was my mistake?  I have worked hard to bite my tongue and prove to them that I will not belittle them the way other teachers have;  I will not blow up and have an episode worthy of youtube.  What I have tried is the silent wait method, talking with them outside of the room, and having them come in after school.  I have tried to work with them to come up with a plan that works for  both of us.  They have spots to sit in, they can get up and move if they need to as long as it is not distracting to others.  They have have choices in assignments to complete.  They have extended deadlines.

My questions: Have I been too nice?  Did they need to be “blown up” at?  Did my kindness and respect towards them lose their respect towards me?  Is it too late to fix the problem? If not, HOW do I fix this?

These students seem to have the idea that it is cool or fun to upset teachers.  All year long they have bragged that they are “the worst class in the school”, that “all the teachers hate us”.  The biggest prize (it seems) is that they have had three different science teachers in three years.  Each one has left after one year of teaching here.  The students are proud of the fact that they believe they caused these teachers to leave; that the teachers can’t handle them.

I will be teaching science at this school for another year; they did not run me out! I hope that next year this proves that I believe in these students, that I don’t think they are bad kids, and that I want them to succeed.  If they believe this, maybe they will be slightly more motivated in science class….

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