I am having a not-the-best week in terms of lesson success – after a chunk of time with great success – and of course it is when things are NOT going well that I am drawn to reflection on my practice.
And that is a faulty practice! I need just as much to keep a regular mental file of things that worked WELL to go along with the things that DIDN’T work pile.
So one thing that did work well recently that it would benefit me to remember:
Pairing a math/content lesson with a story book wins this group over in a major way. It would benefit me to really search out mentor texts that pair with math concepts and see if the school library has them or get them from the public library. (I’d buy them if I wasn’t essentially destitute)
And one big thing to remember:
When I don’t really plan my week out over the weekend, things get nasty. I have the habit of spending an evening or afternoon each weekend thinking about the week and writing an overview of the lessons I plan to teach and the other things going on during the week. I don’t write anything big out – it really just looks like notes in a lesson planning book – and I’m reference the larger plan I made for the year (and am always tweaking when necessary) but having those couple of sentences that detail what I plan to do make the biggest difference.
This weekend was busy and I didn’t get the chance to sit down and do that. And even though I knew we were going to do verbs this week, and start multiplication – not having those clearer notes messed me up.
And I know myself now as teacher – when a lesson isn’t going well, and I know it’s my fault because of bad planning (as opposed to it just not clicking, etc), I get REAL grumpy and when I get grumpy I get short with my class and when I get short with my class, my least favorite behaviors pop right back up. And then it is a vicious cycle – because that only makes me grumpier. Rinse and repeat!
Two days left of the week and I’m still more off the cuff than I’d like (you’d think I would have sat down to closely map out today and tomorrow, but NAH, let me just continue the badness!).