I believe that I have developed my reputation as the Mama Duck of the third grade. There are 4 third grade teachers at my school, and 2 are male. Not to play on stereotypes, but the male teachers are not really the most loving toward the students. (Fun, sure! And of course they care about their students but not really big on the emotions.) The other female teacher is, well, how do I put it nicely, she is not really enjoying her job/students at the moment. I feel like I’ve begun to develop this reputation among the students in other classes as being the stern and strict teacher who is still very caring. I get a lot of hugs in the hallway from even the most hardened 8 year old males. I’m feeling like I am making progress with some of the most notorious 3rd grade boys. I am showing them that I am on their side, I am rooting for them, I want them to be successful, so I have better not ever catch them goofing off or being disrepectful. I hope that this connection can last with them.
I was very mean at first. I was strict and let no student get away with anything. I did not choose my battles, and I didn’t always like myself as a teacher. However, I think that has helped me out because I do have a class filled with students who are nearly always under control. I’m beginning to have more fun with my studnets because they can handle fun things. I even gave them an assignment that had them cut and glue today! Woohoo! I mean, it was a BIG deal for them. No way would I have tried a cutting/gluing assignment the first month of school for the sheer logisitical nightmare that it would become. My expectations were clear, they were high, and they are living up to them. I hope they see me as fair (I don’t always see me as fair). I hope they see me as somebody who they can talk to when they have problems, and who will also share in their successes. Maybe I would make a good school psychologist.
My students took most of their benchmark tests for this month. The school goal for math was 70% and my class average for math is a 69%! Considering that last months was a 55% I would say that we are making progress. I was literally jumping up and down in the computer lab today when the kids were showing me thier results. 6 of my students will be earning medals for getting 80% or higher on the tests. I belive that 21/25 studnets will be attending the benchmark boogie dance for getting 70% or higher on the tests or improving more than 20% percentage points this month.