Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In which the days have themes.

Yesterday was "all the fifth graders have ADD!" day. Today was "eighth grade girls with serious 'tudes" day. What will tomorrow bring?

I can tell with one glance at a classroom whether my day will be difficult or relatively easy. If the desks are in neat, ordered rows, I'm in trouble. Rows say, the teacher Is The Boss in this top-down ("autocratic," in ed parlance) classroom. Might makes right. That means trouble for the sub, who is not the usual teacher and therefore has neither might nor right. If the desks are in groups, a horseshoe, or other non-row formation, I am all set. The teacher runs a so-called "democratic" classroom with lots of interaction, where the students share responsibility for classroom management, and therefore feel some sense of ownership. The day will never be perfect, but it will be much, much better.

Today's desks were in an E shape. The day went well.


Bill Stankus said...

When the kiddies are in mob position, where do you then stand?

kStyle said...

Three pounds of flax.

Bill Stankus said...

Ah, that's your zone! I wonder, as you vibrate to the harmonies of the universe if waves of understanding flow to those around you? I suspect there might be some who pick up on that.

Kinda of funny about that ... the only teachers that seem to vibrate-harmonize with my daughter were a K teacher and one of her profs when she was an undergrad.

kStyle said...

It depends on whether I have successfully recharged my patience (the antidote to anger in Buddhism) through deep breathing and mindfulness throughout the day. No, really.

Define "a K teacher and one of her profs", please.

Bill Stankus said...

K teacher was daughter's kindergarden teacher at a school in Wisconsin. She was charming, inspiring and creative as could be. The professor taught one of the Women's Studies classes at the University of Washington and was daughter's advisor in that degree program. Daughter then went on to law school and didn't have anymore karmic professors.

kStyle said...

Very cool.

It's strange being a meat-eatin', American Buddhist in a school full of Cambodian kids. I wonder what they would say if they knew I was a Buddhist.