Saturday, January 30, 2010

As always, I am frustrated with some of my students who just simply seem not to care. I feel like a grouch because I am always, always, always on them, trying to get them to be a student, to do their work, to use their time productively. While I realize this is part of the nature of the beast of 7th graders, I struggle with the way those kids zap my patience for the good ones, the one who do their work, who come to class prepared, and try their hardest. It seems I end up snapping at them because I am out of patience from dealing with the other ones. Especially towards the end of the week, especially towards the end of the day, I struggle to find patience with one more question about something I've said a hundred times, one more struggling student who seemingly can't get the smallest of concepts, and the student who needs constant reassurance that everything they write on their paper is correct.

It seems an almost argument for having flip-flop school days, where every other day, classes are in reverse order, so I could see my end of the day students in the morning on occasion. Or perhaps, a floating schedule, where each hour becomes first hour in a rotation type schedule, Monday being a 1,2,3,4,5,6, the Tuesday, 2,3,4,5,6,1, Wednesday, 3,4,5,6,1,2, and so on. I wonder how different it would be having those students earlier in the day, when my mind is fresh and full of patience and excitement, and their minds are alert, not overstuffed, and eager. Would a schedule like that ever become routine, or would chaos ensue every day?

I would love to experiment with it.... hmmm.... do you think I would get stoned at the next staff meeting???


Anonymous said...

Hi: I've been "lurking" on your blog for quite a while... I also teach middle school math (6th and 7th grades this year). I can completely relate to what you are thinking in this post. I have been noticing the same thing. By 5th period (my last math class of the day), I am wiped out from the constant interactions, constant behavior interventions, constant reassurances, etc. I also wonder what it would be like to have the same group of kids but at a different time in the day. Would they be different? Would I be different with them?

I say, propose the idea! Odds are, if you are feeling like it, someone else may be, also. A revolving schedule is more likely to be accepted, but perhaps not daily? Weekly? Come with all ideas and present them. But make sure you are fully awake with good reflexes when you do, just in case you need to dodge a few stones! :)

Thanks for writing this wonderfully insightful blog.
-teacher from the Pacific Northwest

cossondra said...

Glad you enjoy my ramblings :)

I would love to try that schedule but unfortunately, we are a small district and share many staff between 3 buildings, elem, middle and high school. That alone would make the schedule a logistical nightmare!!

I know just the kids I see more than once a day can vary greatly in behavior and efforts from hour to hour. It is amazing....