Aside from actual teaching these are some of the other ways I spent my time this week:
As a psychologist...
- Trying to figure out whether a kid's frustration was due to stuff at home, stuff in other classes, stuff in my class or just math in general.. and then trying to figure out what I could do to ease the situation as much as possible and avoid it in the future.
- Trying to figure out exactly what triggers a kid's anger in my class and what I can do to make the situation better.
- Took kids during my prep periods to work with them individually on missing assignments and bring up their grades significantly.
- Spent a lunch period working with a former student on a project for another class.
- Spent time during a prep period talking with a former student that had gotten in trouble and then talking with another teacher to help ease the situation a bit and help the teacher and student to better understand each other in the future.
- Let students teach me how to play the iPhone/android game that they are obsessed with one morning. Consequently now I'm hooked and can't put it down. The next morning instead of hanging out in the hallway like they usually do, they came into my room to talk strategy :)
[sidenote: the game is insanely educational and I'm not sure that they even realize it]
- Postponed what I had planned for one period to instead took the kids go down to a fundraiser they wanted to go to.
- Stayed after school to watch a soccer game & cross country meet. One kid came in the next day and came right to my room to tell me he saw me there and to then talk about the game.
Anytime I talk with kids about what they value in a teacher, it's always about the way a good teacher makes them feel. They usually can't pinpoint exact things that I've said or done or taught that made a difference, they just say it's a feeling they get. I could be wrong, but I think it all this stuff that makes the difference. Kids connect with a teacher that takes the time to be interested in them and for certain kids this can make all the difference.