this year is already starting off better, for one reason only: i know what i want.
i know exactly what type of classroom I want to run and how to shape things to get there. last year i had some vague ideas but i just went with the flow and took it all in.
last year was successful. but in order to reach my goals for this year, i need more instructional time. i can imagine that all the times i had to call out a kid for a behavior issue, plus all the times the entire class dragged because they weren't doing what they were told, added up to a couple of weeks worth of time.
i'm hoping the systems i put in place this year work to eliminate a lot of these problems so we can have more time for Regent's review at the end of the year. I'm actually aiming to add 2.5 weeks onto what I did last year.
so far kids are actually asking permission to leave their seats for EVERYTHING... throwing out garbage, and even for spitting out gum!! the school counselor told me one of her students already complained that he got in trouble in my class. i walked down the aisle past a different student and she literally jumped. today when i wanted their silence for the first time and certain students were still talking, the rest of the class stared at them in shock. another student told them "silence!" they were afraid. I'M NOT TRYING TO SCARE THEM!!! but apparently i am instilling fear which is a good thing. i'll definitely loosen up once they're in the routine of doing what they should.
i have also called home for one student already and sent a letter home for a parental conference. i foresee having to call at least 2 other homes tomorrow. i seriously would have never done this last year because these misbehaviors didn't bother me. but i'm all about putting my foot down in the beginning and i hope all these parents don't hate me!