Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore… or are we?

Getting use to the high school life has been my goal this week. I talked to a high school science teacher, whom I met at the beginning of my first placement, and she told me “They need the same things as the middle schoolers, they just show it differently.” This statement really made me reflect on my experiences so far.

So this is what I took away from this week: there is going to be challenges and rewards, much like before, they just may take different forms. When it comes to some of the challenges I still might be able to use the same tactics. For example, it used to be a struggle to make sure every student had their uniform on in class. I decided to address this issue before the students entered the classroom. I would stand by the door and as I greeted them I reminded them they needed the appropriate attire on before coming into class. The new issue is headphones and cellphones that students have as they walk into class, and seem to not want to put away during class. So how I might extinguish the spark before it takes away from class time is stand outside the door to greet them as usual, and have the students put the electronics away before they come into class.

One thing I need suggestions/help on: Every other day the classes have 90 minute periods with me. On the other days, it is 45 minutes. I went from teaching every class I had the same thing and they all progressed, for the most part, together. Are there any suggestions on how to keep the classes on the same track and balance/keep organized the different classes?

Until next time:


4 thoughts on “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore… or are we?”

  1. I’d like to hear how that cell phone/headphone method works. I’ve been lucky: Both schools I’ve been in have had no cell phone policies, but I know that that may not happen in the future, and I know that they can be a huge distraction! I think checking them at the door is a good policy.

  2. Love the cartoon at the bottom, one of my all time favorites! As for the different length periods each day maybe it’ll be most helpful for you to always plan in 45 minute blocks and then just put two together when you get a double period with them? I struggled at my last placement when classes got off track from each other and trying to re-sync them so I totally understand where you’re coming from.

  3. Addressing the headphone, cellphone use at the door, seems like a great strategy. Not sure if there is one “this really works” suggestion for getting every student to follow the “no headphone, cell phone use policy”… but one thing is certain, you have to be vigilant about not only looking for their use, but about respectfully reminding individuals of the policies. Doing nothing sends a message that you don’t care whether or not the policy is followed…

    As for the 90 vs 45 minute periods… you really have to have a different set of lesson plans for each class, that is the only way to keep track of who has done what when. It seems like a lot of work (and it is) but if you map out your units carefully, you can make it all work out so that classes end at the same point, having done the same activities, at different times.

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