School Week Round-Up: Week Three

LessonsOne of the advantages of being a “specials” teacher is repeat performances. My schedule is such that I see every class in the school once per week for approximately fifty minutes. I teach one class of each grade per day. Usually (but not always) I teach the same or similar lesson to an entire grade level. So by the fourth or fifth time through, I really have it down pat. Makes me feel sorry for the kids who get that lesson first, though, because my fear is they’re not getting my best version, and that’s not fair. I need to figure out how to do better.

Support: There was one day this week where I was on the brink of turning into a puddle like Larisa Oleynik in The Secret World of Alex Mack if another person said to me, “Can I just ask you a favor…?” But that was only because I heard that phrase quite a lot in a surprisingly short span of time. It was just one of those days, when the printers jam so hard you think they ought to play roller derby, but your schedule is already booked with diagnostic testing.
But it made me really appreciate that I have coworkers who schedule things in advance when they can, and take initiative in asking for help, and are very descriptive when describing tech issues. I am also very grateful for the gentleman we call in to fix our multi-function printers when their issues are outside of my ability to fix!

Things I Did Well: I’m trying to foster some growth mindset in the computer lab. I reflected on how I’ve previously said that computer lab is a lot of training before we can get to the learning, and I wondered how to make the training part more transferable. So when I give a set of directions, I am trying to leave room for what the kids know or figure out along the way. For example, there are multiple ways to get to a particular website: you can type the address into the URL bar; you can use a search engine. You can type on the keyboard, you can use the microphone and dictate.You can use auto-complete, even, if you’re careful about it. And when kids make mistakes and end up in the wrong place, it’s not the end of the world. We can learn what to do so when we make a mistake again, we know how to fix it. One student in a class accidentally directed Chrome to (typing i’s instead of l’s) and a classmate made the same mistake fewer than five minutes later. So I sent her to advise him, since she had just learned what to do!

Things I Will Do Better: I will try a little better on the home front, actually. I am rocking it so hard at work (or at least trying to) that when I come home I turn into Himouto! Umaru-chan. I think maaaaybe that’s getting to be a bit much for my partner. I cannot remember the last time I cooked, did the dishes, or cleaned the bathroom. I can remember the last time I vacuumed, but only because it was before we got married, almost three and a half years ago.

Cold Prickly: We had a meeting about retaking the RESA (because I failed the Second Lesson Cycle task). Counts a cold prickly because, as a human, I psychologically recoil from being reminded of my shortcomings. I have to pass the RESA this year or else I have to retake coursework. Or, I could just become a yam farmer. First order of business would be learning the difference between a yam and a sweet potato, once and for all!

Warm Fuzzy: A new student gave me a big hug on his way to the bus yesterday and said, “I love school!” The feeling that gives you? That’s the high every teacher is constantly chasing.

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