“Stir it up, little darling. Stir it up…”
Those lyrics really resonate with me, not just because I need to chill out every now and then, but also because it is totally true of education.
While I don’t necessarily think I’ll start wearing tie-dye blazers and dress pants or dreads to work, I do think I need to take a page from his philosophy. Okay. Philosophies.
What Bob Marley Has Taught Me In the Last Few Weeks
Stir It Up.
Students thrive on routine, but they don’t necessarily thrive on boring monotony. I have been struggling with teaching one of my math classes, since their behaviour is atrocious. I changed how I was teaching, and they got better (see previous posts), but they are starting to slip into their old habits. They aren’t purposefully disrespectful anymore, but they are still excessively chatty and dropping a few too many f-bombs for my taste.
The key to handling this class, or at least what I am praying is the key, is to keep routines and expectations consistent, but change up what we do in class. I want to keep the flip-flop method the same, but I need to find new and exciting assignments and projects for them. Even if it is just a 10-minute task that breaks up the monotony of the day, it would help a ton. I find they are their second worst at the start of class, and their worst about 45 minutes into a 62 minute class. I think about halfway through I need to build in a break to “stir it up.”
Don’t Worry About A Thing, ’cause Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright.
School couldn’t possibly function without me. Wait! It does. And it has.
I have been very stressed out about going away to training and conventions. I’ve only missed four days of school this year, but it has been a week of preparation and tedious sub plans. It just drains me. I am glad I go every time, but leading up to it, I just dread the day I’m gone.
What I’ve started to learn about myself through this is that I need to relax and be less of a control freak. I love to plan — I am a planner to the max — but I need to find a balance. My lessons never go exactly as planned, so I don’t know quite why I get so stressed out over change. One my goals for the next month is to get myself organized so I can feel sane again. However, as a planner, I always find something better to do, so that stack (now toppled and messy clump) of paper keeps growing. Filing can wait, but the next day’s plans certainly can’t. Heck, even writing this blog post is working toward that goal. I have some rough plans for tomorrow that I will hash out a bit better in my prep, so I can take some time to take care of the less pressing, yet still important, jobs that I need to do for my own sanity.
This one I am also working on. I’ve been thinking to myself lately that with one of my classes that just somehow manages to generate noise no matter what we are doing — talking, pen tapping, creaky chairs, you name it.