I was really bummed yesterday to discover they aren't posting the large transfer positions until May 10th due to a myriad of issues that prevented them from feeling like they could provide an accurate posting. I'm so looking forward to seeing what's available in the district and moving forward with my career.
I've been thinking lately about Classroom Management. In my undergraduate classes, I had to take a semester-long course in classroom management and even develop a management plan. While I ended up not using that specific plan when I had my own classroom, I found that I took bits of pieces of many plans that we'd learned about and made them my own.
I never really had any trouble managing a classroom until this year. Every year that I've taught, I've actually changed things up a bit and done different management techniques. I stayed consistent within that year but switched it up to experiment and push myself outside of my comfort zone a little and see what really and truly worked with the kiddos I was teaching.
I've used the classic "stoplight" model where the children start on green and move up (although mine was modified to fit the frog theme I had and had 3 frog faces in various degrees of happy/sad). I've used a model that aimed to teach children internal motivation. I've used reward systems. I've used positive discipline and discipline with dignity techniques.
A few weeks ago, poking around in a teaching forum I've been a part of since undergrad, a 10 year+ veteran teacher responded to a newer teacher who said she had no trouble managing any of the classes except That Class (you know, the one we've all either had, will have or at least have heard about). She was tired and frustrated and didn't know what to do. The 10 year+ vet said that in her 5th year of teaching, after never struggling with management issues, ever, she had That Class also and that Tools for Teaching helped her so much.
Recognizing my own plight in this other teacher's request for help, I ordered this book from the library and started reading it. I quickly realized that Fred Jones was one of the people my management instructor had told us about. He talks extensively about Preferred Activity Time, which I used when I taught 2nd grade (to great success I might add). I am taking my time reading through it and absorbing what he says. Some of it is common sense stuff that you do pick up while you are in a classroom (even during student teaching). Some of it, however, reminds me of where I can strengthen my craft. Where I can focus my attention to ensure that next school year, there are very minimal issues because the kiddos are in it to win it.
The more time goes on and the more I heal, I find myself anxious to get back into the classroom. I find myself looking forward to grading papers (who'd've thought that was possible??) and working with young minds. I miss it.