Each year there is one class that just has the perfect combination of kids who should never be put together, but somehow wound up all the same class. No matter what you accomplished in all your other classes that day, be ready to only get through half of it during period X because that class is 90% management and only 10% teaching.
I've been feeling really stressed about my period X this year because I'm in a new school, so my reputation doesn't precede me here, and I've been feeling like no learning is happening whatsoever. Above all else, I just feel really badly for the few quiet, well-behaved students who don't get an ounce of my attention, as I am putting out fires in every other corner of the room. So today, I decided to celebrate those kids by sending them a quick little email after class. Before the end of the day, I had responses from 3 of the 6 I contacted. Here is my original email:
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am teaching heritage Spanish all day long this year in a new state. Connecting to my students has been a bit of a challenge, and although everyone tells me to give it time, it's hard for me not to feel like a bit of a phony as a non-native speaker. I have read lots of other blog articles about this, encouraging me that it gets better and telling me what to expect, but it still stings when you stand in front of a room, being your usual goofy self that has always charmed kids in the past, and now they just stare at you in creepy silence.
I'm at a new school this year and experiencing some management issues that are new to me, even after 12 years in the classroom. I have a particularly needy class, with whom I can't do a lot of the whole class oral questioning I have done in the past. Here is my solution.