Tuesday 7 September 2004

Today I had an interesting experience. After my maths class I went to my year 9 Technology class where I expected to observe a relief teacher take over the class. I had actually wondered why they woulden’t just let me do the relief teaching as I have taught these students about 4 times already. Well ….. as it is sometimes said …. be careful what you wish for.

For some reason or another the relief teacher didn’t show up so when the bell rang it was just me and the kids. I thought “Well – what to do?” I knew where they were at in the curriculum as well as the classroom procedures and routines they were used to so I just took the class.

At first they tried to have me on a bit. I was trying to give my explanation and they were chatting amongst themselves. Instead of raising my voice to compete with them I just said very plainly “When I am talking I expect your complete attention and I expect you to be quiet. I’m not going to say this again.” Sure enough it wasn’t 20 seconds before another students got chatty. I got her attention and asked, “What’s your name?” She gave me her name. I said “Ok, XYZ, I asked you to be quiet while I’m speaking and you didn’t – go sit outside the door.”

She got right up and went outside. That made the point to the rest of the class that I was serious and they were good for the rest of the period. After I finished my explanation and set the students on task I went outside and smiled at the naughty student in a very knowing way as if to say “I care about you – I’m not trying to be mean – I am, however, serious about you learning something.” She knew what I meant by my smile so she smiled back, came back to her seat on got on task very nicely. It is amazing how much we can say with just a smile.

Just then the head of the department walked through the computer lab and saw all of the girls quietly on task. She also noticed that there was no relief teacher and commented how I had handled the situation well. This made me look really good.

So I found out here that what I had learned in profs studies was all I really had to work with in this situation. The great thing was – it worked! What could have been a disasterous situation was quickly turned around into a beneficial situation and I got to be the star of the show to boot.


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