Thursday, August 03, 2006

Random Thoughts

These are few things I have been mulling over for the past few days.

*I went into work on Saturday pretty much totally unprepared. Saturday is my toughest day of the week. I have been working on some planning and future big things I know I am going to have to accomplish. Time caught up to me and I hit the office Saturday with very little to work with. After some frantic searching for direction, I headed into my first class. To make a long story short, at the end of the day, everything went pretty well. I don't know if it was luck or a sign that I am becoming a much more competent teacher. Going into 2 two-hour sessions not having a solid plan and surviving was an accomplishment. This is not to excuse my stupidity. It was a dumb move on my part as far as my time management is concerned. I don't plan on doing that again anytime in the future, but it's nice to know I can handle it if I do.

*How do you remain objective in a classroom? I have been at this for about a year now and I find myself letting my emotions dictate a fair amount of my actions. Sherry, a student in my Wed/Sat class is a perfect example. She is an amazing kid. It's such a privilege to teach a child like her. She is 10 years old and about the cutest thing you've ever seen. Over-the-top silly at times, but also very emotional. She isn't the best student in the class, not even close. She struggles with a lot of the material. Last week, she got 22% on a quiz and began to cry in class. I had a little talk with her and she explained that she studied the wrong page. How in the heck am I supposed to be a hammer in this situation? I've been told that I have to tell her she is out of luck and better luck next time...can't do it. My approach is a decent mix of coddling and inspiration, I think. I tried to calm her down and assure her it's not the end of the world, and at the same time instill in her that she has to pay closer attention to the assignments and work hard. My job is to inspire these kids, not scare them. If I catch hell for not being tough enough, so be it. If someone came to my school and surveyed the kids about their favorite teachers, I am confident my name would be at the top, and that's what is most important!!!!!

*I will be negotiating a new contract in the next few weeks. I have decided I am gonna shoot for the moon. I am gonna ask for a substantial raise. One that is more than the norm. I have nothing to lose at this point. The owner of the school repeatedly has told me I am her best foreign teacher. We still have our petty little arguments, but more often than not, she ends up apologizing to me and likes my ideas. Am I off base for playing my position of strength? I don't think I am.

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