Thursday, December 4, 2008

growing pains

it's been a bit of a while since i last posted. but there have been many things that've come up. the boy who i had "the talk" with has seemed to start confiding in me, and i think wants to hang out with me during lunch time. this is extremely flattering!!! i mean, come on! who doesn't want to hang out with this kid? he's mischievous and a little troubled by certain things at home--like i alluded to in my last post--but he's pretty nice when we get to regular facts. he's actually very nice. at what point, i'm wondering, is being a confidant too much? not now, at least, because it seems like he wants to talk to me, tell me things about his life, i'm guessing.

tomorrow i read a poem on the school's tv station (we have one! pretty neat, eh?). i'm announcing that in january, i'll be absolutely on about students reading poems on the station as well. if not, i'll keep reading them. but the idea is that students want to read, and they should, and should practice with me as well--after school or during lunch, etc. i hope this thing goes on. if not, then i'll just pick 'em and read each week. i mean, i don't mind it.

i broke down in one of my grad classes yesterday: i'm having a tough time with my mentor teacher. Ms. B is actually a wonderful teacher. but, she's organized in a way i am not experienced enough to be organized, if that makes sense. basically, she's too experienced, and hasn't trained me or given me any guidance or feedback on my teaching, when i do teach. so, i finally swallowed my embarrassment and overwhelmed self and went to talk to her. i told her some (emphasis on the italics...there are lots) of my concerns with her--especially on feedback, and she said she absolutely agreed. in fact, she had finally realized this as she read my journal (i know, i know, you keep too many journals, andrew, come on!)-cum-lesson -planner that mentioned me wanting to do my own thing (in terms of always coming into class not knowing what the lesson of the day is going to be...this happened a lot...i wanted to begin to make my own lessons), and then independently realized she wasn't giving any feedback. so, the conversation has begun and will continue, i think, all next week, when she gives me feedback on the different things that i need to know. for example:
  • handling discipline in the classroom
  • classroom management and redirection approaches
  • delivery of content
  • time management
  • clarity of thoughts/expressing thoughts or explanations
  • learning targets
  • do i teach to a certain side of the room?
  • individual attention--too much, too little?
  • accomodating kids with IEPs
those are just a few that i could think of, for now. i'm sure there's more. we'll see how things go. but for now, the process is going forward, which is good. now all i need to do is get all the many, many papers i need to write out of the way this weekend. yikes.


ProfSeeman said...

You make some good points above.
However, I also think that this can be helpful to you:
Go to:

If you get this book and video: PREVENTING Classroom Discipline Problems, [they are in many libraries, so you don't have to buy them] email me and I can refer you to the sections of the book and the video [that demonstrates the effective vs. the ineffective teacher] that can help you.

[I also teach an online course on these issues that may be helpful to you at: ]

If you cannot get the book or video, email me and I will try to help.
Best regards,


Howard Seeman, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus,
City Univ. of New York

Prof. Seeman

Vanessa Rogers said...

be sure and add those tid-bits of advice to your blog! I am leaving for Korea tomorrow and I am sure I will need all the mentoring I can get as well!

Andrew said...

thanks Prof. Seeman. I'll check out the links, and the video as well. I appreciate the advice. It's a tough issue, but I think, overall, it's starting to pull together. We'll see how it goes, but something's going right in some ways or another...