From the MOV to Milwaukee

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 07 2012

I resisted…but they were right.

I was forced to bond with Lee Cantor this summer, as all 2012 Corps Members were.  We learned to give explicit directions, narrate the positive, and then redirect.  We all felt SO silly to recognize students who were on task… “____ is writing his name on the paper, ____ is working on the first problem”, etc.  I remember thinking that these people were crazy!  No one narrated my behavior when I was 16…how would this ever work?


Fast forward.  I gave positive narration to redirection at a 2:1 ratio last Friday…and I’m still not being positive enough!  I’ve started writing post-it notes before class with praise to give students during class and try SO HARD to redirect individually rather than a bunch of “Ladies and gentlemen, you’re not doing ____”.  It seems so silly, but its the BEST teaching trick I’ve picked up so far in terms of classroom management.  I haven’t sent a single student out of my class in the last two days (a typical consequence in my school is to send students into the hallway).  I’ve also called 18 parents so far this week.  Sure, not all of them picked up, and it might not work…but I actually feel like I’m nearing 100% compliance.  Sometimes.

On another note, I’m crazy frustrated with the standards that I work with in my school.  Its SO HARD to transform them into critical thinking tasks when the true “requirement” is to memorize a set of steps and regurgitate them.  I can’t wait to ask family and friends for resource books from NCTM for Christmas.  The holidays will never be the same.

My final reflection in this disjointed  post is how happy I am to be working at HOPE.  Its CERTAINLY not perfect…but I can’t believe I’m working with people who are trying their absolute hardest to be as close to perfect as possible.  My school LOVES kids and no matter how many years they have taught are working like crazy to make themselves better.  Wow.  It’s hard not to give it 100% with colleagues like this.

I’ll be at the airport headed back to OHIO 2 weeks from this very moment.  YESSSS!!!!

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