The week ahead is I think the most important one so far. I think I’ve done a fairly good job of creating classroom expectations, and all that good stuff, but I think for the most part the kids are just following along and hoping they’re doing it right.
One thing I’ve done a not so good job with is the start of classes…especially the 20 minute class periods that I have all in a row. One 20 minute class ends, in comes another group; that class ends, in comes another group. For the first group, I’ve already seen them first thing in the morning for 45 minutes, so it’s not so bad. But the other groups are seeing me for the first time for a quick in and out. I know changing classes is new for these students and I want transitioning into English class to be as simple and straightforward as possible. I think it’s going to take ME half the year to get these 20 minute periods down. So, how do I get the kids to get used to it? How do I get used to it?
The hardest class for me has been the group I see once in the morning for 20 minutes and then don’t see again until the almost end of the day. That group poses several challenges. The first challenge is that the space between both periods is so large, making it more difficult to continue something we’ve started. The second challenge is that their longest class period with me comes at the end of the day….always the most challenging time of the day in terms of energy and attention levels. The third challenge is that even though this is my smallest class, they are also seem to be the most quiet, the least willing to risk sharing in front of their peers. Getting them to open up and share is going to take something a little extra.
This week I think I’m going to work on those two things: Making the transition into English class better for myself and the students and working on making my smallest group more comfortable with sharing.