I asked myself “what is it with this class”several times during 3rd period.  Today’s class started off on the wrong foot.  A student walked into the class screaming “WHERE’S MY CHAIR ?”  Mind you this is about 30 seconds after the bell.

“Really.  I have about an hour and half left with this the class, and this crap is already starting!” – I thought.

The class went south after that.  I upheld my expectations of classroom behavior, and followed through on my discipline steps.  Meanwhile, I didn’t feel good about it.  I felt too much of an authoritarian – which I suppose is necessary from time to time.  Yet, the feeling that somehow this isn’t an enjoyable class is still present in my mind.

I have taught the same class over a dozen times before and it’s been engaging, fun, and a great learning environment.  This class is beginning to feel hostile, tense, and negative.  This is unacceptable.  Who wants to teach in a class like this?  Or who wants to learn in a class like that?  There many reasons I suspect have led to this situation.  Regardless, I need to reverse it.

I have been mulling over some ideas to improve the classroom environment.  Two that I will implement ASAP is celebrate student successes more often and change-up the curriculum so it’s more engaging for the students.

I’ll have the students back on Friday.  Let’s see what happens.

UPDATE – 3/28 – – – – – – – –

Well the good news is that the class recovered.  I changed up the curriculum, making it more engaging and relevant to the students’ lives.  This helped drive down misbehavior.  More importantly, I stuck by my guns, setting clear expectations that I want all students to learn and there are rules that have to be followed to ensure this happens.  In the end, I believe the students respected me more as a teacher, although at times it didn’t feel like it.

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