Where children do as they're told and don't learn to think for themselves! Where note-taking is ignored! Where the students take on the burden of learning!
This past week I achieved my goal of structuring my classes more, with the help of a trusty timer. Beep beep, time's up! Didn't finish your work? Oh well, too bad, use your time more effectively next time! I have definitely seen an increase of work being done, especially in tandem with my sticker incentives that I've been using.
I have accepted the fact that at my school, it is expected that students fill out worksheets for everything. They will not or can not do notes on their own, so I have to just suck it up and keep creating more materials. The next step--that I'm not sure how to do--is differentiating the worksheets and materials for some of my low-level classes and students. Not sure how to squeeze even more work into all those hours at school; I still feel like I get nothing done in eleven plus hours. Argh.
Quiz scores this week weren't too bad. I hope the students noticed that the questions came from the daily end-of-class assessments. When I return them graded, and tell them to correct any mistakes, maybe they will actually LISTEN and STUDY with it. Durr!
On Friday, I had to tell myself, Oh crap, tomorrow's my birthday! It was a decent day; frankly, quiz day is always pretty calm. Most of this week was decent, actually. Colleagues have told me they really like my sticker incentives and think it's making a difference. I'm not totally sure yet, although I have definitely seen a marked improvement in a few students. In the afternoon, our staff discussed the importance of kindness and compliments toward the students. I definitely do that (I see so-and-so getting right to work! Great job!), but I do a lot of corrections as well. Someone talked about their experiment with counting out a handful of good things before saying anything negative, which was definitely inspirational food for thought.
My birthday was nice; it was pretty quiet. I slept in and had a little time to hang around home in the morning. In the afternoon, BF and I went into the city and took the tram to Roosevelt Island, something neither of us had done before. It was fun! Definitely a new view of the city, seeing the big avenues from above, traversing the East River, seeing the downtown bridges through the Queensboro bridge. We took a bus around the island to get an easy view of the town. Everything was painted red or yellow; it was all so clean and pleasant. I saw a white cat on a leash, drooled over pickles at a street market, and was approached by two very fat, aggressive squirrels.
In the evening, two lovely friends joined us at a nearby bar for drinks and a gorgeously delicious chocolate cake. It was low-key and just what I wanted.
This morning was lazy; I love snuggling under my covers on a chilly morning. Worked on next week's worksheets while catching up on television from last week. I'm looking forward to an even better week at school.