Friday, September 7, 2012

First Impressions

The first four days of classes are in the "books". During the summer, it is easy to forget how tired you can feel by the end of the teaching week. For this week at least, it is a "good" tired feeling.

I am still talking too much. But I continue to be working on loosening the reins some and I feel good about making progress in not being center stage all the time. The classroom environment for each of my classes and homeroom is promising. I have been pleased with the class participation and respect my students have been showing each other. There is a bit of timidness with some of them - the fear of getting a wrong answer. In one of my classes today, it was difficult to get volunteers to show their work on the board. I assured that class that it is okay to get an incorrect answer and that was one of the ways we would learn together. More work will be needed to encourage them to take a chance on themselves.

One big improvement for my first week has been the utilization of Google Forms for homework assignments. I have been able to use the spreadsheet information from the assignments to more efficiently assess any trouble areas that are present. And I can do it in near real-time. It is taking quite a bit more time setting up the assignments than in years past and I will not be able to use this format for all assignments, but the potential for me to use homework in a much more productive way is exciting to me. Hopefully it will be beneficial for many of my students as well.

I am looking forward to a chance to rest a bit and completing some lesson planning this weekend so I can be ready for a new action-filled week. They will be keeping me on my toes. And that is a good thing.

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