Wait Time = My Everest
Posted by newbie-tchr at 5:05 pm in Classroom management, Time!

Out of all the observations that have come back to me so far, the number one area that “needs improvement,” is wait time. What’s wait time, you say? Only the most impossible thing ever for someone who has no patience for it. In dealing with talkers and those not paying attention, the powers that be have advised me to practice “waiting” for the students to be quiet. Stand up front, and literally wait for them to shut-up, while watching the clock. Not only do I keep forgetting to do this, but it kills me inside. The entire time I’m standing up there waiting, I’m having to hold back what I really want to do – which is to tell them to sit down and be quiet AND i’m counting the precious moments I have left to cover content. With planned testing, I only have so long to cover all my content before an exam, and the entire time the seconds are draining by I’m thinking of how I’m going to make everything fit for the rest of class. Out of respect/desperation, I’m going to try this…I even wrote “wait time” on a piece of paper in the back of the classroom to remind me. But I have to admit, I never thought that waiting for anything would be as hard as this is.

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Using Her Powers for Good instead of Evil…
Posted by newbie-tchr at 10:43 pm in Classroom management, students

stewie Pictures, Images and Photos
First week’s over and done with, and I.love.it.

I’ve always been one of those annoying people who can find the good in everything, and so I’m trying to keep that in check, but my situation seems almost ideal. My peers, both teachers and fellow student teachers are awesome, the kids are interesting in a good way, and I’m a government nerd teaching government. But I did say “almost ideal…”

I have a student, and I know we all have these students, that I can already foresee trouble with. She’s been known to get into physical and verbal fights with students, and hasn’t hesitated to try and do the same with teachers in the past. All of this would be tolerable, even fine, if she didn’t have the adverse effect of seemingly “spoiling” the students who sit around her. I don’t know how or why, but there’s this quality in this child that’s almost a magnet. But instead of being a magnet of positive energy, it’s more of a magnet for bringing out the hateful side in people. So if you couldn’t tell – potential problem student.

Now, I figure instead of giving myself a complex about this child, I might as well make a plan of attack for taking all those potentially negative qualities about her being in my class and using it to my advantage. Contrary to her initial attitude on coming in to the class, I’ve found that she responds pretty well to positive attention AND looooooves being given a task. (I don’t question it, but it’s amazing how kids get excited about something so simple as passing out papers – it’s totally awesome.) So my solution? In two days I’m teaching my first solo lesson(s), which entails of a of a lecture on the origins of American government using a tool called¬†Prezi, and a competitive game reviewing the information students just learned out of the lecture. (In regards to Prezi – use it and you’ll realize how cool and addictive it is, plus kids actually pay attention since it’s not like anything they’ve seen before) So for my little problem-child, I’m going to incorporate her into my review game, having her help keep track of scores on the SMARTboard. It may seem stupid, but I already told her about it and she was really excited already. ¬†Plus, it’ll give her that purpose to encourage her to behave in class, while separating her from her peers and taking away that negative influence she seems to have. We’ll see if it works, but I’m really crossing my fingers on this one. If anyone has other ideas/behavior management techniques that would work with such a confrontational student, please feel free to pass them on. My teacher has been great, but I feel like new ideas wouldn’t be a bad thing to add to the toolbox.

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