Fail

We here at Kay Nou have had a few weeks that we would not like to repeat anytime soon.  We are managing.

Most days I absolutely love my job.  I love teaching.  I’m thoroughly enjoying teaching Math after school.  This week I had a student say, “I love math.  You make it really fun.  I actually like learning about Time.”

I’m quite certain it helps that there are only 4 students.  It also helps that the kids eat a snack before we start.  It further helps that we can joke around as we learn.

In my every day teaching, I’ve had my ups and downs lately.  This week I had a lot of fun with my 1st graders.  We were singing, dancing and learning some important concepts  along the way.  I try to be sneaky that way.  Teaching them as they are laughing and having fun with their friends.

Today one of the 1st grade classes had a substitute teacher aide.  She was an older woman I had never seen before.

Generally, when I have an aide in the room with me I don’t focus on the aide.  I am there to teach the kids.  I don’t mean to imply that I am rude.  I just try to direct my attention to the children.

For some reason, I felt inclined to take a peek at this teacher aide every now and again.  She looked kind of grumpy.  I couldn’t figure it out.  We were having a ball.  Maybe she wished she was up and participating with us.

The kids were well behaved.  As they lined up and filed out, the substitute said to me, (insert gravely Selma and Patty voices from The Simpsons) “You really should teach the kids how to read notes.”

I was dumbfounded.  I said, “Oh, um, this is 1st grade.  We do some note writing, but not much.”  She said, “Well, you could just write it up there.” , waving her arm towards the chalkboard.  I smiled and said, “Okay, well, thanks then.”

What a buzz kill.  What class was she watching anyway?

Cut to music this afternoon.  I have four 2nd grade classes that I see. It took me three classes to discover, “Wow, this lesson really stinks.”

During the second class I quietly called one boy over and asked him why he was misbehaving so much today.  He said, “This is really boring.”  I thought about it and realized, “Wow, this really is boring.  It seemed like it was going to be a great lesson.”

Darn!  My goal is to not have that happen again from now until the end of the school year.  I think I’ll be able to do it.

Again, not a few weeks we’d like to repeat anytime soon.

–Running Girl

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jen yund on April 7, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    And that’s what makes you a good teacher – paying attention and learning from what is actually happening in your classroom and with your students. Not fun when lessons don’t work for sure – think of it as your learning opportunity 🙂

    As for gloomy gus – I had a nun about fall over when she came in to my 9th grade ELA class once. Day after a 2 week break, in the middle of Great Expectations – so I had the girls in groups making posters of a scene they thought was important to later present to class. Work was being done, but it also gave them a chance to get the social stuff out. The nun only saw chaos – different perspectives. Another reason to keep learning as teachers – approaches change.

    Keep learning and having fun! You’re Lance-a-lot – you can do anything!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Melania on April 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I can only wish that I had a music teacher like you who clearly gives great thought to her craft. How observant and humble of you to share with us your successes… and one minor glitch. Kids are such great and honest responders. Thanks for listening to them! Teachers like you are the reason my little guy LOVES his music class! Thank you!

    Reply

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