Reflections after the first week

I just finished Reluctant Disciplinarian by by Gary Rubinstein, which sums up my own inclinations toward being a “softy”.  The things I take away from this book include:

  • Start the first few weeks of class with lessons that have clear expectations for students and, in my case, may be similar to what students are used to.  This sets up the students for a minimum of culture shock.  To this baseline I can slowly add more pizazz.  The time that I have spent “substituting” for my CT have been a convenient baseline.
  • All the standard advice about not arguing with students, etc.
  • Be mindful about over-talking and over-sharing.
  • Criticize one’s own lessons with a list of “cons”.

My tendency is to become so absorbed by the content and zany lesson that I forget to respond to student needs.  Any misbehavior is then so shocking that I deal with it too publicly, thereby alienating the rest of the students.  I have seen firsthand how a “softy” becomes the “mean teacher”.  I have also seen that it is possible to improve, and so I hold that hope going into the next week, the beginning of which my CT will again be gone.  I will have to prepare the students for an upcoming test.  Reviews are always hard for me to do well because every student has different needs.  I know that the students will be expecting a review game on the last day before the test, so I hope that my CT was able to put something together.  If not I will have to invent something.

This Monday is also the first day of official classes for my University.  I wouldn’t be so worried by this, but I am also studying to take the Praxis Secondary PLT this Saturday, and it has been quite some time since I took Educational Psychology.  I’m finding that the questions are IMHO so poorly written that the right answers are flawed, which leads me to reject them and try to find truth in another answer.  As a result, I’m not doing so well on the practice questions, so I will need to put in quite a bit of studying all week.  If anyone from ETS reads this, I suggest that rather than rewarding the top 15% (for Excellence!), you reward the top 5% by refunding their testing fees.  If you offer to refund even other materials (like your lousy online review course with terrible questions), you may even encourage more people to buy those.

Published in: on 2011.01.09 at 11:09  Leave a Comment  
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