Week 3: Looking for the rhythm

Well, I made it through this third, blessedly short week.  So why did it feel so long?  This week we gave the CELDT test to our ELD classes.  This test is required by law, and must be completed by October 15 each year.  I organized it, and this first part was easy. The part that is giving me conundrums is the testing of the 70 other English Learners who are not in ELD classes.  (And why not, you might ask.  Good question – I didn’t make the schedule, I’m just trying to fix it.) There is so much to pull together, it makes my brain tired.  Yesterday I had a sub so I could work on it all day.  Imagine my surprise when I walked into my classroom and the sub was one of my former high school students!  It was great.  The kids liked him, and were well behaved with him.  More than I can say about how they behave with me…

Which leads me to the week’s topic.  Engagement and participation.  I feel like I am often able to engage my students in a discussion in which many of them participate.  Yet the whole time, in between their sage comments, they are talking to each other, so I can hardly hear what they have to say, let alone any other students hearing them.  So I’m constantly running interference while we talk about things.  I just don’t feel like I have the rhythm of them yet, and it is making me crazy!  I decided the other day that I needed to come up with a theme, and I did, but I can’t figure out how to explain it to them so they will buy into it.  I am so not used to this feeling of imbalance.  I know that by the end of October I’ll have figured some things out (Oh, please make that be true!) but at the moment I feel like a sloppy teacher and it is not a good feeling.

Oh, an update about the staff issues I mentioned last week: I faced it in a non-confrontive way last Friday, then on Monday presented her with a solution to her schedule problem and the animosity evaporated.  She’s happy and so am I.  Check.  One down, who knows what’s next!

Good week to you all.

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One thought on “Week 3: Looking for the rhythm

  1. Bonnie says:

    I know what you are feeling. I remember that energy so well. I liked to keep them responsible and focused in discussions. Do you know Sheridan Blau’s work? Great way to keep them involved,responsible and focused.
    I also love the dynamic focus of Socratic Seminars for discussion.
    And sharing in a circle keeps them focused too, but that’s the challenge, their energy.
    Bonnie

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