A miracle has occurred, my friends!
The positive behavior index-card chart that I talked about yesterday, I began it today. And it WORKED. Class B, who were so out of control yesterday, were like a dream today. Oh my god! It was fantastic. I had big nasty Class A one period, and they were much better. Still chatty, but BETTER. A miracle, I tell you.
I felt so much better about myself today. The past few days, I heard myself talking to the classes, and I was the teacher I never wanted to be. Today I didn't have to do that. I tried to focus on encouraging them to be on task, and I witnessed kids on task that normally are not. And of course, I rewarded them with praise and a tally on their card.
Ironically, or maybe not, irony confuses me, the Queens College mentor observed me for second and third periods. I'm very eager to hear his feedback. Also, I'm a little glad that today worked so well. (Oh god! I just realized, maybe they were better behaved because a strange old white man was in the room!) If he'd been there yesterday, he would understand my situation, but I would also be ashamed a little bit, to have someone else witness my lack of control as a teacher.
Here's something else. Over the weekend, I bought a cheap little boombox for my classroom. Today I had music playing during reading time (when, praise the deity, they were actually QUIET, and READING!), and they liked it! Didn't want to have it turned off!
My last class, the small Class C, was actually more rowdy than the other classes today. Weird. But not out of control or anything. The one time it got a little talky, I went over to the index cards and said, So and So is on task, Someone else is too, and put up tally marks. That quieted them. Wow!
And it's funny, but those ones can make me unwillingly smile. I think they can read me a little better or something. More likely, I'm tired of playacting a meanie by the end of the day, and they are pretty easygoing kids. It's fun to loosen up with them, one on one. Sometimes I feel like a kid, too.
PLEASE, if you like me at all, or even just if you KNOW me, please think good thoughts about continuing this new behavior. Me AND the kids.