13 December 2011

Out of Control

The myth

Part of my life in Spain is that some things seem to be pretty much out of my control. The food I eat (since I eat with the familyI live with), my schedule (since I have to rely on public transportation), and especially the kids in my classes. They are CRAZY (sometimes)!!!

I have one classes that was starting to drive me nuts. The teacher and I decided to teach together today rather than splitting the class in half like we usually do. I decided to see what techniques he used to control the class and get the kids to listen. What he did was: NOTHING! He didn't control the class or make them be quiet and listen or ask them to put away their homework for other classes or participate as a class. He just let them be, and then walked around the class talking to the students. And honestly, I think everyone was much happier than in my classes when I insist on everyone behaving properly. But maybe part of my cultural experience is understanding that in some classes, the kids just aren't going to be perfect angels, and that the teachers don't expect them to be.

For me, it's hard not to feel like I am failing as a teacher if my students aren't listening attentively, participating and concentrating on our class material. But maybe that is just prideful. And maybe, it really is okay to let go of a little control and just go with the flow. This shall be my new experiment.

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

I SO understand your frustration. I feel the same way-- I'm not happy unless my students are quiet and attentive. And I think that's a personal teaching preference. The trouble with elementary kids is that they aren't really capable of sitting quietly and attentively for very long. But if you students are older, then they are definitely are capable of that. It will be hard considering they have learned from the other teacher that they can be loud, but I still think you can demand more :) I had some classes last year that got away with so much in their classrooms and then they came to music and expected the same. But it was hard for me to make any change in the 50 min. a week that I saw them.

Ok, enough with that rant. Basically, I feel for you. Every teacher feels for you! It is a challenge. Make sure you are CONSISTENT and try to have empathy while giving out consequences.

Oh, and I'm sure you are doing a great job! It takes a long time to get the hang of teaching. Much love!