Me vs Them
Once again I found myself in a classroom with a substitute. But, this time was going to be different. I had planned to present the day's activities to the class. Mrs. M and I spoke the day before she knew she was going to be absent and we discussed that I should present the lesson to the class for experience.
The night before I had rehearsed exactly what exactly what I was going to say and do to obtain my utopian classroom. I knew the material like the back of my hand, I knew the students, and I had a plan. I thought I had everything in line to get through the lesson, which was just a algebra review. But, I was wrong.
Right away I learned what classroom management skill I did not have, and authoritative voice. My tone is almost always pleasant and often soft, which does not help calm a class of 9th and 10th graders at the beginning of the hour.
However, I did recognize the difficulty right away and I corrected it with the aid of a girl in the front row. I have been observing the students for some time now and I knew who would cooperate and stand up to tell the class to calm down and pay attention. It is amazing how a tiny 15-year-old girl can project her voice so that everyone's heads in the class snap to attention.
I explained to the class that Mrs. M was not going to be in and that, "You're going to have to put up with me." It was a good feeling when cheers came from around the class. They like Mrs. M, but they had been asking me when I was going to teach the class instead of just...