Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mission Statements

Something has been different with my students lately, and it's not just one class, it's all of my classes.  I have to wonder if it's me.  My students weren't perfect, but earlier this year they took more initiative and were more cooperative than they are right now.

Bell-Ringers:  This week we are straying from the index card bell ringers and I have the following directions written on the board, "Sit with your team and help each other make corrections on yesterday's exit ticket."  When I come into the room, the students are sitting in their desks that are still in rows and columns and waiting for me.  Waiting for me for what?  Since day one, the directions have always been on the board, and suddenly they seemed confused.  Every day this week I have to read the directions on the board to them and remind them that the desks are not glued to the floor.  Next day, same thing.

During Class:  They easily give up when a problem is challenging.  They are whiny.  Why do they have to learn this?

After School:  Lately, only 1 or 2 students are staying after school for help.  Earlier this year I had 10 - 15 students.

Burning Questions?  Where do students get the idea that they have to wait for me?  Why am I here for their entertainment and to fill their every need?

What am I going to do about it?

My first impulse is to yell.  I want to lash out and demand their cooperation.  This may work for a day or two and I'm not a fighter.  I hate the awkwardness that follows a teacher's yelling.

I went home the other day with this on my mind and when I was getting ready to go to sleep I picked up the book I've been reading and had an idea.  Currently I am reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I'm currently on habit 2 about beginning with the end in mind and mission statements.  I thought I would give a class mission statement a try.

This is really something different for me.  I'm a math teacher and this touchy-feely stuff is so out of my comfort zone.

I'll try to keep you updated assuming I'm not too embarrassed by the results.

1 comment:

  1. My students are also struggling. Some of it is the time of year, less daylight and frequent breaks. I think another factor is the difficulty of the current material (simplifying radicals). Good luck.