The past couple of weeks have really flown by! I’ve gotten to teach about 75% of the day on some days and it has been going really well so far. There is a lot to learn and I’m grateful for my cooperating teacher and supervisor to help me along the way.
It has been great to see all of the work that truly goes into teaching. During my pre-student teaching, I would come and observe, do a lesson or two, and then leave during the day to go back to work. It is quite different seeing a full teacher’s day and all of the time and work that goes into it all. I’m excited to begin teaching more and more each week and to really dive into full-day teaching.
One topic I am continuing to work on right now in the classroom is classroom management. My CT uses a common clip chart that the students can clip up or clip down depending on their behavior. Many of the 4th graders are receptive to this motivation, but at this age there are a few that do not receive motivation through this. I still will implement it while in her classroom since the majority of the class responds well to it and it is something they are already used to.
I am trying to find a way to gain student attention throughout the day as well that works for my teaching style. I introduced on Friday during our end of the week class meeting that when I need their attention, I will be clapping twice and then holding my hand up and putting a finger down each second. This will signal to them that it is time to quiet down and redirect themselves to listening to me. If I get to 1 and they are not listening and focusing, I will receive a point. If they are settled down, then they receive a point. At the end of the week we will total the points and if they win, the class gets to clip up. If I win, they could potentially clip down. My goal of course is to not win.
After reviewing many strategies that teachers use to gain attention in a noisy classroom, this seemed to be a good way to start. I will see how it goes and adjust if necessary over the next few weeks. I think the clapping will be helpful since I do not have a very loud voice and many times when I do try to get their attention when they are all talking, it can be unheard. It will also help that they will see my signal of my hand up and fingers going down to direct them.
We shall see how this goes this week!