I cannot believe how time has flown! Here is an event that happened in today’s class.
Last Friday, my co-op told me that I needed to work on being stern. So today I had to bring out the stern.
In period four, I was the only one teaching because my partner had to teach Art. My co-op was in the room but I basically took over and ran the show. It was a work period for the A10s and most of them were actually being productive. I allowed three boys to go and use two computers since they were doing the same Disney show, Hercules. I asked two of the boys who were sharing the same computer again and again to focus on Hercules but they kept going onto YouTube and Facebook. Finally, I asked a third time and they ignored me so I leaned over and said, “Alright, if you aren’t going to focus on Hercules then you don’t need to be on the computer,” and I shut it off on them.
After they sat there in stunned silence for a moment, they began to talk about Hercules. The third boy who had a computer to himself closed all his YouTube tabs and began researching Hercules.
I believe I needed to give them that extra firmness because I was being too soft with them in the previous lessons. They wanted to see how far they could push and they finally reached my limit.
I talked to my co-op teacher afterwards and she agreed that I did the right thing with them. Then she showed me a book that talked about giving students choice and motivating the unmotivated students. I agree that giving students choice is a good idea to do especially when it comes to assignments. This book, however, talked about giving students choice in what you ask them to do. It could be simple things like: “Can I sharpen my pencil?” “If you can do so without disturbing the class. It’s your choice.” By saying something like that it allows them to have more freedom and to actually think about what they are asking. It gives the students more responsibility in their actions. For my situation, I could have told the students who were being disruptive and on YouTube, “You have two choices: You can either close YouTube or focus on your work or you can leave the computer. Your choice.” By saying this, they might have done the right move or it would have resulted in the action that I ended up taking.