In today’s practicum, I only saw one class period because of a schedule change. I saw a group of seventh graders, who I am still getting to know, and they worked on completing their explorer projects. I also was able to sit in on a team meeting, where students and staff of “Team Blue” met to recognize good deeds done throughout the last week or so. Teachers and staff members of the team specifically identified students they wanted to acknowledge, and these students received a marble as a reward. The students had a half day, so the rest of their time spent at school was spent in study hall, in which many students worked on finishing their projects.
Today’s big takeaway related to the explorer projects – no matter how clear you think you are being as a teacher, it is never clear enough. My cooperating teacher assigned this project at least one week ago, if not more. She took a significant amount of time out of class to go over the project requirements. She explained that the explorer baseball card and the map of the explorer’s journey were two separate documents that needed to be handed in. She repeatedly made clear that the due date was the end of this week. Despite all of this clarity and transparency, there still were SO many students who were – I apologize for the harshness of this term – clueless. The students didn’t use their ample class time to get the project done, and my cooperating teacher had to repeat herself countless times about the due date and about the content and display of the project. In such a situation, I can see why it would be so easy for teachers to get so frustrated. It’s hard enough to be patient all the time, but to feel like students aren’t listening to you at all is an entirely different frustration. Regardless of how emotional you can become in that moment of frustration, teachers have to keep their cool. Even if it seems redundant and overdone, teachers have to be extremely clear in directions and expectations, providing multiple written and verbal instructions.