Amazing results

I usually have scoffed at the reward instead of punish track taken by many educators who do presentations of some sort. Not anymore. Today, two of my classes were really loud and talktative. It gets that way sometimes, and it can be very annoying, especially when I have been sick and don't feel well. In one class, I kept saying, "Quiet please!" and I had to say that about 10-15 times in that class. The next class was also very talkative, so I said, "I need to be able to hear you today, so I will give RATTLE cards to students who raise their hands and wait to be called on." The room was silent in an instant, and for most of the class. If they started talking again during the lecture portion, I asked a question and as I called on a student to answer, I gave her a RATTLE card and said, "Thanks for raising your hand and waiting to be called on..." That got everyone to be quiet again if it got out of hand. I was amazed. I am going to start doing some sort of class wide reward system with the students later this week or next week. I think it will help them even more.

Such a softie

Today, this seventh grade girl (not my student) was in the hall talking to some ninth graders. It is "Unique You Day" at our school which basically means that kids can dress up as whatever makes them unique. She had a tiara, and theses ninth grade girls were very cliquish. They made her feel bad for wearing the tiara and didn't have time to talk to a little 7th grader. It made me sad to see that. Sometimes I am such a softie.


One thing about change is that it can be so difficult sometimes. I am trying really hard to change the type of teacher that I am. It is difficult, because habit is so engrained in me that it seems much more natural to be that way. For me, I guess it is more natural since that is what I have been doing. I do think, however that I have noticed a change. Today I jumped on a student who would not shut his freaking mouth. It was driving me insane. I was asking for participation from the class by raising their hands, and he was commenting on everything that was said or done. After I barked at him, the rest of the class refused to participate for a short time. I am sure it is because I reacted so strongly to that kid. It was frustrating, but very enlightening. It was a great reminder that changing my attitude and changing how I interact with students does make a difference. In related news, I have noticed that I am also a better husband and father. I don't get as frustrated with my daughter, and I don't get as annoyed with my wife. Disclaimer: I don't usually get annoyed with my wife. She is the greatest thing ever. I have noticed that I am more patient, less judgmental, less rude, and more understanding.