As you’ve read, I’ve been a touch nervous about moving to eighth grade. Would I be able to handle it? Would the kids respond to me? Would my discipline tactics still work?
So far, the answer to all is a resounding yes.
I’ve had several students tell me how excited they are to have me as a teacher – and several others tell me how sad they are that they don’t. At back to school night, I met a handful of new parents as well as a couple I already knew, and all were very responsive. Of course, they’re the ones who show up for things like back to school night, but still.
AND my teacher look still works. Every good teacher has a teacher look – my favorite description of one comes from Miss Eyre, who describes hers thus: “[M]y own is one of appalled dismay, followed quickly by disappointment.” Love it. My teacher look is more of your basic stare, one eyebrow slightly raised (though it can go higher when needed). It’s always worked beautifully with sixth graders, but would the eighth graders respond?
Turns out, yes. I had to use it a few times on Friday for kids who were whacking their pencils violently on their desks (okay, technically they were tapping, but I simply cannot handle that – it is as distracting to me as a jackhammer would be) or who were chatting with a neighbor rather than listening to my student teacher try to teach about appropriate hallway behavior. (Why, yes, I have a student teacher. Yes, this IS my third year teaching. No, no I don’t consider this fully appropriate. We’ll discuss this later.)
Anyway, each time I had to use The Look on Friday, the kid in question immediately shaped up – and the majority also mouthed a sorry at me. Sure, second day of school and they’re still on their best behavior, but I have high hopes that we can continue with this.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!
(Photo credit to jbaij)