You know that class that just seems to take one step forward and then 5241663 backwards? A class that seems to just get worse? I have one of those this year and I really have so many negative feels walking through that door. As much as I try to be positive, I walked away drained, upset, and feeling robbed of my empathy and care. Last Thursday, I had a class where I gave instructions and then just started taking notes of what I saw. At each table at least 2 students were either checked out or actively doing something to distract their peers. Instead of holding the class to reteach as I have I just had enough. The three day weekend couldn’t come any sooner. I spoke to my AP who suggested that I just need to press pause on the math learning for a bit because I’m in a negative space with the class and it’s clearly been building. I needed to associate that class with some sort of positive feelings. So I tried. I would be lying if I said that I had my doubts. I’d be lying is I said I believe that I couldn’t enjoy them. But I did!
After the warm up I asked the class to pause and told them that lately I’ve been feeling really negative when walking though the doors, so I want to have some positive moments with them. I told them that I really enjoy listening to a podcast in the morning on my way to work (This American Life) and I wanted to share something that I really enjoy with them. So we listened to a few moments of an episode of This American Life. What the students didn’t know is that some students in the class were featured on that episode. Listening for the first few minutes, I felt extremely happy in that room for the first time in a VERY long time. The lesson followed and I found it so much easier to relax and just do my thing. Students worked on solveme mobiles and almost everyone was engaged. I felt successful with that group of students for the first time in forever…So while I know that I will continue to struggle with this section, I have hope of having some more good days with them.