The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Monday, November 07, 2005

After two weeks back in college we are now back in school attempting to practise what the University has preached.

I have prepared my absurdely detailed lesson plans and will try and remember the lessons learnt last week in a practise session in college - when I deviated from the best laid plan, waffled, went off track and totally lost the plot!

This afternoon I thought that I was doing OK, giving out the answers to a homework, getting the children to "hands up!" with their suggested answers and working out the hard ones with them on the board - however, it turns out, that I am over friendly and a victim in waiting! All bubbly and enthusiastic - which is good - and totally unaware that they are just waiting to walk all over me.

I must be more firm, distant and authoritarian, hold back that friendly edge until I have the ability to terrify them, until they know that when I'm nice, I'm very nice but when they're bad I'm terrible!

It was good advice from my mentor who could obviously see a pit potentially opening up iun front of me; it is hard not to mimic her casual and friendly approach with a class she knows well - but important to remember that she has already been through the stage of establishing her authority.

The hardest thing is getting used to being around teenagers. I am just not used to them. What is that noise coming out of their mobile phone (turns out it is highly valued downloaded music!). What are the rules about them eating their lunch in the form room (seems reasonable to me - but then again, they aren't adults...) and can I trust them when they say that "Miss" lets them?
I have a year 7 form group to share care for until Xmas and so can practise on the pre-teens before moving onto deciphering the proto-adults.