Today was another one of those days where I was thrown into the deep end of the pool and had to sink or swim. My teacher texted me at 4:40 this morning telling me she could not make it to school. The good news is that my stomach didn’t drop like rock as it has in similar, past situations. I know I can do this now and after the conference this week, I knew what I needed to work on. I went into today confident that I could manage or, at the very least, live through the day without any major disasters.
Upon arriving at school. I checked on the animals in our ever-growing mini zoo. I then looked over the plans for the day so that I could adjust for the things my teacher had taken home with her the night before that were still at her house. I made a list of activities that could fill the leftover time at the end of the day. They were things that we have fallen behind on and would be good to catch up on. I was ready. Then I was thrown for a loop.
Apparently, it was one student’s birthday today… I had no idea. Also her family brought in treats that neither the teacher nor I had been made aware of prior to this morning. I already had a treat for my students but I guessed they could have both.
The morning went fairly well. I did send one student to the office for a time out. I feel kind of bad for sending him because I hate resorting to that but I have to do what have to do sometimes. He refused to stop making faces at another student. I have been working on positively praising my students instead of just reprimanding them. The first thing I did was praise the other student for not making faces back and I explained how happy that made me. Then I turned to the other student.
He is so stubborn. Unfortunately for him, I am way more stubborn. He absolutely refused to turn around. I took his shoulders and gently moved him to face the front. He turned right back around when I went back to the front. I asked the aide if she would take him to the timeout room. He refused to move. She grabbed his hand and took him out. I just don’t know what to do when moving his clip doesn’t work. I guess I need to ask my teacher what I should do!
Anyway, that was taken care of by the police officer and the other students had a fairly good day. One student went home sick and another student cried all afternoon because he felt sick but the nurse did not say he had a temperature and she gave him pepto. There was nothing else she could do. He was really fine and I think he just wanted to go home because the other kid I sent home was his friend. I don’t know what I could have done better. I will have to ask about that too!
We didn’t get through everything planned. That is something my teacher suggested I work on; not stressing when I don’t get everything done. We talked about that at our conference as well. I am so used to having to be spot on when it comes to time because when I did college practicums we had to exactly fill that time we were given and not leave anything out from our plans. When I told my teacher what we didn’t get to, she was really nice about it and explained that it would be very easy to do one more day of frogs on Monday. I am grateful she is so fantastic and sweet!
We had the girl’s birthday treat. I laid out to the students that if we got through everything we could have the snack and if we didn’t the classroom teacher’s snack would have to wait. We did not get through everything. They were up running around while they were supposed to be coloring. Part of it was my fault because I had nothing for them to do while the sub and I helped the other students put their frog craft together. We did not even finish the frog craft! I knew though, that we had to get to the birthday treats so we did that instead of finishing the activity.
One of the things I think I will struggle with once I have my own classroom is what students should do when they finish activities before other students. My professors alway talk about how having things for students to do when they are finished is important and helps reduce undesirable behaviors. Our classroom has no system for what students should do when they finish. My teacher has little problem with the students because she has already established her expectations and has made it clear to the students that she sees everything they are doing and expects them to not goof around. I haven’t made it there yet. I have learned my lesson time and time again when I second guess her methods and I am sure I will put my foot in my mouth over this one too. We will see.
After I graduate, I am going to stick around the school and help out. Our aide has a different schedule and things are kind of hectic at the end of the year anyway. At out conference, my teacher asked if I was going to stay around until the end of the year just to make sure she did not plan anything she needed me for. My teacher suggested I should visit other classrooms during that time and learn about those procedures, rules, schedule, and so on. I have often wondered about the other teachers’ procedure and such because I have seen a little of it when I sat in other rooms during inside recess.
Today was a bizarre day. I really need to talk this through with my classroom teacher but I do not want to bother her after her stressful day. I have the sick feeling I got at the beginning of last week when I had to send red notes home for the first time. At least I made some progress after out conference!