Thursday, August 29, 2013
Yesterday my kids took a diagnostic test; they answered questions about graphs and units and all those things you’ll need to know in science class. Today when I was sharing the data with them and rolling out their “Big Goal” for the year (80% average on all the tests, quizzes, classwork, etc. and 22 or higher on the ACT) I spoke to them about practice. We talked about how in Biology class we’re going to practice those skills they’ll need for college, jobs, whatever the future holds for them.
While giving my speech about practice and meeting goals I recognized that all of my practice this summer, my months of training, my hours planning lessons, my days in the summer school classroom were all preparing me for this. Not only that, but my years of education, my time as director of the after school program, my year abroad. All of those things have culminated into my own classroom. A captive audience for 9 months. A group of students that I’ll try to educate and transform.
Every day I have to remind myself to trust in my training. To remember those basic skills we learned in the first week of pre-service training. I have to remember to praise the little things, to keep my behavioral expectations high, to create relationships with students.
It’s hard to remember that training sometimes. When lesson plans are due and rival gang members are paired up as lab partners and security has to come to confiscate a cell phone. But I practiced and I practiced. So it’s becoming more natural. My classroom is taking shape. My students are saying exactly what I want them to say about me, “Ms. Reveal has a lot of rules.”
Just like my coaches did for me, I’m building that foundation for them. I’m teaching them to sweat the small stuff because we have big goals to accomplish.