This was a very long, difficult, frustrating week, at least until today. All week long, my kids were off-task, unfocused, and general nudges. I'm sure the time change had something to do with it. My partner and I share 41 kids, and our group is top-heavy with boys (about 2/3 of the group.) In that group, there are 5 with severe ADHD, 2 with anger issues, 2 are totally unmotivated, and the rest are normal, energetic, and very young 11 and 12 year olds. And EVERYBODY is chatty. So our classes are anything but dull. We hit some new lows this week for focus and behavior. Both my partner and I had "come to Jesus" talks with our classes about expectations, and then in my last class I actually resorted to bribery!
I had had it up the wazoo with one group in my last class of the day, and I semi-jokingly bet one boy that he could stay quiet for the rest of class. He took me up on the challenge, and the rest of the boys wanted in. So, I told them that if we could get through the remaining 40 minutes of class without disruptions, interruptions, calling out, or other disturbances, I'd bring them in a treat. (Of course, I added, the girls had already earned a treat). So they became little angels and we actually finished up our class with 5 minutes to spare! So I treated them all today to a piece of candy. The icing on the cake today came when I took the class down to the computer lab. We have a school expectation that classes move silently and in single file while in the hallway, but trying to keep them silent is often an exercise in futility. Today as I walked them to the lab, I kept checking behind me to see if there were actually students behind me. They were perfect! When we got the lab I asked them if they'd all been abducted by aliens and replaced overnight. One of the most frequent offenders told me, "We took your talk with us to heart yesterday!" And indeed, for one day at least, everybody did!
And to end the week on an especially high note, I had a good review with my principal. He told me he was impressed with my adaptability, my willingness to try new things, and my ability to integrate my "years of experience" with the new technologies of today. This was especially gratifying because when he arrived at our building 4 years ago, he assumed I was a dinosaur stuck in the past. He's young enough to be my son (and is the same age as our oldest!).