Thursday, 31 May 2012

Strategic Planning

What a day. I was super stressed from yesterday arvo and was really pissed off with a few of my Y9s. I realised after that it was only a few once my mentor S mentioned that despite those few students, there was quite a lot ofgood work being done by the rest of the class., especially after form time (although they were actually pretty good overall with the peer supporters doing group work). I wish there were more times like this where they.worked together to build unity.and.the family bond. I've been really enjoying the inter-school netball games. We've won two out of the three round robin games (today was awesome and tasted sweeter after the chat we had in class).

The chat was a result of my korero with Matua J. He relaxed me and told me about a few new strategies that I can use in class. The first one was what his mum did. She was a teacher too and would sit and wait her kids come in- checking out their attitudes and moods- and by doing so.created.a.calm environment by not yelling for.quiet, but by being quiet showed that she expected that quiet and patience.

The next strategy was one of his own. He how.he.has clear boundaries and complimentary guidelines that he regardless. I told.him how hat was/is my biggest problem-I don't stick to my rules and I let things slide waaay too much. So he told me about his bucket full of.water.strategy when it came to.phones. Basically, he warns them from the get go.and.thats and.only warning. If they bring it out he takes it off them and chucks it in.the water. He said that some kids would say to him, oh.matua, you.would't do that! And his.reaponse was, Try me.

So, with these two strategies in hand, I went to english class feeling much morr better about myself, my authority as a teacher and as a human being. First off I welccomed them in and I then sat down and basically waited for them to.shut up. It took them a while to.realise I was.waiting, but.they soon got the .message from the other students to be quiet as I kept smiling at those.who were patiently.waiting. So.strategy one worked. We then had a 20 minute korero.about tikanga and he role.they have in class. Respect, listening and above all else, work completion.

I also told them.about rule.bout phones. The water rule. Only one student didn't believe me and I think that's more to do.with him being a smartass than anything else and probably having got.used being so.soft. The boys' friend was the one who had out and refused because he was scared that I would put water. Jeez. If he had given it to me, would I have put it in the water? I don't know but I definately.would.have had to.follow up on.the threat I'd used!

So, thanks to.Matua J's strategies, I actually had a good lesson. Yay!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Facebook Rant Creates Change

Exciting News. I've joined a Professional Learning Group (PLG) in our school about creating/using Facebook as a means for teaching. EXCITING!!!

Will keep you posted as I learn what else is going on and the details.


Intense, Yet Impressive

As the title says, today was intense, yet impressive.  Three of my students were back today. They had had a series of issues, BOT meetings etc that prevented them from being in class the last few weeks. In that time my terrible Year Nines, became my angelic Year Nines. I loved it. The kids loved it because they were finally able to learn.

Being told last Friday morning that they were coming back this morning stressed me out. I kept thinking about how the kids would feel and what I could do to make the transition as smooth as possible for me and the rest of the class as well as for the boys. My mentor M told me that the best way to approach the entire situation was to be prepared - acknowledge that they too will be stressing out about coming back, and realise that I need to be as strong as possible - and most importantly stay consistent and keep up the routines I'd co-constructed with my angelic Year Nines.

So the day of reckoning - this morning -  the boys were being held with the dean, and I took the time to brief the Angels. The Angels were not impressed but agreed to help support the boys in coming back to class, and were supportive of the whole situation once I acknowledged how much hard work they had put into the last few weeks becoming angelic and how I wanted it to stay that way. I was so damn scared of it slipping back to them all becoming little devils again.... But day one is over and done with - and the Angels are intact.

Now I didn't expect the boys to be brilliantly fabulous straight away after coming back to school after a couple of weeks out. But I did expect them to stick within the routines and processes the Angels had co-constructed with me. To be honest, the Angels-in-training were shocked at how amazing the Angels were being. I had Angels every which way asking questions with hands up, being patient, being quiet during the spelling test, being interested in the new book I'd bought from the library. Most importantly, the Angels-in-training actually responded to the new processes. They put their hands up when required for silence (TK), and they seemed actually interested. Well - one of the three did heaps of mahi - which was awesome. I just hope he continues to do so. Out of all three - I'd put my money on him to re-acclimatize successfully to our new classroom environment.

The other two - well - it's up to them if they're going to get their work done.

My favourite moment of the day was when I gave one of the boys a Restorative Thinking Processess form and it was his first and only RTP warning. I'm not sure what exactly was going through his head at the time, but he did eventually do it. I'm fairly certain his decision to complete it was because of one of my head Angels yelled at him and said "You better do it, otherwise Miss will just kick you out." Loved it. I love that my Angels have renewed belief in me that I'm doing the right thing. Because these boys made it so difficult for all of us last term - and jeez - it was hard. Harder than hard. Unbelievable actually. But now - I'm stronger. I don't stand up for any more dramas or lies. I'm not keen on silly stuff anymore. The best thing about that though? I think I'll actually be able to survive and have energy by the end of this term. New strategies and strength in myself and my discipline = win!

That's all for now...

By the way - do I have any followers yet? Just comment here. I'd be interested if this blog is helping anyone or if anyone has any questions. Not that I'm the Fount of all knowledge though!

Naku noa,