Sunday, August 25, 2013

So...Reality Came and Smacked Me Across the Face....

Remember how I said that my Senior class period 6 was going to be a lot of fun? Yeah....I was wrong. Like- dead wrong. HOLY MOLY!!! They are a tough crowd. First, I have this class at the end of the day when their meds have just about worn off. Second, they enjoy having me as a teacher and they enjoy the class, which means I am constantly trying to contain the optimism and enthusiasm of eight 17-18 year old boys, all of whom have ADHD, one with the addition of Aspergers, 2 with auditory processing disorders, and 1 who thinks because he is an actor that he can get away with anything. It take so much energy to just get them to attend to what I am teaching that day that I am usually left exhausted and feeling like I have survived a tornado when that 50 minutes is finally over.

By Thursday of the first week back to school, I started thinking of ways to get them to settle down instead of using the time as Social Hour. I also realized that most of them have had some type of discipline modeled for them since childhood and if I could bring that back into the classroom, I might be moderately successful. With this in mind, on Friday when the class began, I wrote three red Xs across the top of the board and explained that I was going to erase an X each time they got too loud or were not paying attention to the lesson because they were talking. When all three Xs were erased, they were going to have to get out of their chairs, find a spot along the wall, turn so they were looking at the wall, and complete their work in their laps. Since I only have 8 students, I could space them out enough to prevent more talking and socializing.

Once I explained my tactic and reasons, they calmed down enough to get through some of the preliminary explanations on Macbeth and Shakespeare and by the end of the period, I only had to erase 2 of the 3 Xs. I think this is going to be a standard practice in this class and with these boys.


I love teaching them and I know they like the class, but trying to contain their energy is like trying to herd cats...its basically impossible without the right incentive!

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