His face looked a little shocked as a wave of rowdy 6th graders rushed in with the bell. I introduced myself and noting that he seemed very sure of himself and his ability to get everyone on track, I took my position at the front of the room to observe. The usual troublemakers were wreaking havoc as soon as they noticed there was a sub, and surprisingly the "reliable" students were joining in the fun of not having to follow the rules today. The poor guy attempted several times to get them on track and talk over their raised voices and blunt comments. The act of bravado quickly turned into desperation as he glanced my way. I thought briefly, "the poor guy is drowning, they are going to eat him alive." I jumped in helping get the noise level under control long enough for him to give directions. Afterwards, we split up the room to ensure everyone stayed on task. It is amazing to see how different they act when the teacher is "out for the day." It is almost as if they love the idea of making the newcomers life miserable, and find it rather amusing to watch them squirm and push them past the point of no return. 

I learned a valuable lesson about classroom management today and began to process ideas about how I would want my classroom to be ran, and establishing those ideals very early. I used to panic about controlling unruly students, and while I still do to some degree, I realized, you cannot let them get to you, they are just kids...:) The poor sub was letting them trounce all over him and panic was written all over his face. At the end of the two periods it was time for me to leave, he thanked me repeatedly, and as I walked away I wondered, "this is only third period, what is the poor guy going to do for the rest of the day?"


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    January 2014