Ok so I don’t teach Portuguese but I’ve taken some classes and I love it. I teach Spanish 2, Spanish 3, Spanish 3 Honors and Spanish 4 mixed levels. I’ve mentioned previously that I’m in a new school from last year that is same school district but different from where I was. There are pros and cons but one of the pros is the classroom situation. We’ll there are actually 2 but the main one has the potential to be pretty amazing and pretty much already is. The changes I believe that need to be made are on my end really.
I took someone’s place who pretty much left everything (good and bad) and being that I only found out one week before school started where I would even be, there wasn’t as much time as I would’ve liked available to get organized. Not knowing where I would be until last minute and having more preps than I’ve had in the past, and also probably having some summer Portuguese classes on the brain are all elements that have contributed to my disorganization and sense of being overwhelmed. Therefore, it’s no surprise that some of my classes have not really gone exactly as planned.
I don’t have a picture right now, but the room where I teach 4 out of 5 classes has about 30-some desks, chalkboards (still) two monitors a projector and a smart board and an iPad cart. It’s nuts. There were 3 monitors on the desk, but I sent one away. The teacher from this room was also the tech guy – no surprise.
So chalkboard is useless and messy because the projector screen doesn’t go up right in the middle and the smart board is mounted on the right hand side so the left small portion is the only place I can write. There’s a left chalkboard but I forgot to mention – there are six student computers! Perfect for speaking assessments. And the projector is not hooked up to the second computer right now (it’s in the ceiling).
But…oh gosh this is getting boring. Anyhow, I need some order. Objectives on tiny board space – no good. Once everything is running I will prob use the other computer for power points and objectives and the smart board for going over stuff the students can see. It will be where I ‘write on the board’ and do Elmo stuff, there’s also one of those too if necessary.
Warm ups smart board. I’ve been having trouble keeping the students on task and from talking, but today I noticed that when I simply wrote answers, or allowed them to write answers on the smart board they weren’t talking over me asking what we were doing or what number we were on to their peers across the room. Also I realized yesterday that they don’t fully understand the procedures, such as the warm-up. Last year even though I said it everyday, it took quite some time for the kids to get it, to pick up handouts, or get their missed work, even though I reminded them everyday.
And the discipline procedure is: break rule, you get a warning, call home, then a referral and once you hit referral level, you get another referral each time you break the rule. I also found out that when you have to ask two or three times they are moving up that ladder, even if in the same class. That is where you stay until the end of the marking period in which it is reset. This is school wide. We have a new principal this year who is working hard to get things in order and if everyone is on board, we will limit the discipline issues for sure. Some of the main rules are no cell phones, no food, and I guess I better check the rest, but mine are pretty simple, just raise hands, no talking out of turn, no disrespect, come in sit down and get started on the warm up…etc.
So plan is, re-explain the expectations, and the consequences and the few procedures, get the electronics and instructional space organized, make it all consistent and get rolling so that these kids can become proficient because they are all capable. And year five, maybe I’ll get it right from day one. (This is my 4th year)
So question to you all, I’ve already written referrals. Should I re-explain and wipe slate clean, or keep my slate? I’m sure I mentioned the order of disciplinary action but I forgot about the non reset until end of marking period. I also didn’t realize I was supposed to let it escalate to referral level in one class period. In past years I’ve always believed in trying to reach a parent before writing a referral which is probably why I didn’t think it could all happen in one class. I guess I didn’t listen to everything in the PD first week. My mind was in my classroom, maybe.