Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gifts



I know you can't hear that pin drop in my classroom, but the kids are learning. A girl in one of my classes is moving to Long Island and she is upset about leaving me. She told me this is the first time in a long time that she is passing math.

It is hard to learn in a noisy environment but I would rather have a noisy environment where the kids are comfortable learning than be teaching in a morgue. I want my kids to be comfortable. I want them to ask questions. I want them to want to be in my classroom.

Mr. AP threatened my students with a teacher that was known for his iron hand. His classroom was dead silent but his passing rates were the lowest in the school. The kids feared him and did everything they could to get out of his class. Mr. AP says I am too nice. If nice means treating my students with respect, then I am too nice. If nice means treating each child the way I want my own child treated, I am too nice.

Mr. AP might not like my style of teaching but he has never complained about my results (which make him look good.) My students are learning, no matter what he thinks. Many will never be able to master the complexities of geometry but that has nothing to do with the noise in my room.

Two of my classes knew that I will not be in next week. Above are a few of the gifts they brought me. I told my geometry kids I would be out next week. They all wished me a happy Chanukah and a great vacation. I am making a difference with these kids, no matter what Mr. AP thinks.

I don't let him get to me too often. I've got to make sure he does not ever get to me again.

3 comments:

17 (really 15) more years said...

When the kids talk in my class (in the context of learning, of course) I call it "a joyful noise". A dead-silent classroom is not a productive classroom- it is one where fear and lack of student motivation exists.

Tell your AP from me he doesn't know wtf he's talking about.

Have a wonderful trip to Jamaica!!

Mrs. H said...

I agree with you Pissed Off, there is nothing like the sound of loud, enthusiastic learning. Yes, it gets a little rowdy, yes, it might not look good to administrators, but when you are in the groove and you can feel the whole class involved, it is truly exciting. I get comments all the time about how much my students love my class even though they hate math.

Educating children is not a science or procedure where there is one "right" way to do it. Every teacher has to find their own style and go with it. Some teachers can be very effective in a room "where you can hear a pin drop". I can't. I tried it when I first started teaching because older teachers that I looked up to had that kind of classroom. It didn't work for me and I had no fun doing my job. Now, I feel free to be myself and I think my kids learn more. Luckily I have a very supportive principal who always gives me glowing reviews on my observations even when I know what he witnessed in my room was controlled chaos. He likes that fact that the kids are engaged.

Anonymous said...

Have a wonderfully relaxing vacation in Jamaica! (And don't forget to take a lot of cool photos that you can post!) :)

Miss S