I was really encourged today. An administrator came to visit me during my 1st block and afterwards told me that he really appreciated my lesson design. We were reviewing domain, range, definition of a function, and reading graphs. I threw some Desmos graphs up on the smartboard and had a Go Formative assignment ready with just empty question boxes and the links to the Desmos graphs so that students could have closer looks if they wanted. Then I asked the entire class questions like:
“What domain value gives a range value of 4?”
“What is the range when the domain is 1?”
“Why is this graph not a function?”
And so on. The students would enter their answers and I was able gauge the understanding of the class at a glance without them shouting out.
I might just have an open Go Formative assignment that I use all the time that has no questions but just the answer box for general use. I would be able to do this to ask any question I like and see what my students say.
The block that I have been having management difficulties with was also better today, but I had to ask three students to leave in order to achieve it. I can tell that my students are not happy about how strict I have made the class, but I told them that although I much prefer the relaxed atmosphere in a classroom, they haven’t been able to handle it. The difference is already night and day. I’m hoping that in a while we will be back where they are. I feel as though I cannot make my usual jokes or use my usual teacher personality with them because they get so off task and wild. It’s only day 51 so I am still looking for the balance between being myself and having a class that has enough order for students to learn.
Even so, I am able to enjoy my job again. I was having so much trouble that I felt miserable going in to work. I was afraid it was becoming my student teaching disaster all over again. But although this is my first year and clearly I have a lot more to learn, I know that I am already a better teacher than I was with those 8th graders in 2012.
In an unrelated note, I had several students in my final block looking at the class snakes instead of paying attention. I called them back to the board and they said “Mr. Belcher, your snake is shedding its skin.” So of course I immediately stopped class and we all watched the snake wiggle it’s way out. We missed the last one because the sneaky little turd did it over the weekend last time. It was pretty cool and it gave the students a nice, short mental break. I got some good video where you can hear me calling out at student goofing off behind me. There’s always one.
I’m looking forward to Monday but that’s probably because we will have Tuesday off and this terrible election season will finally be over.
Thanks for reading.