I had special visitors today for a second grade lesson about Halloween. Guess who the visitors were? They were representatives from the local city’s board of education!
Nothing gets your blood pumping faster then when you have important guests. Honestly, though, I don’t really get nervous anymore when I’m being observed. I think my time at AEON prepared me for that. At AEON sometimes I’d get the random class observation. You generally would have a ballpark idea of the week an observation would happen, but you wouldn’t know the exact day. With public school, they generally let me know when the observation will happen (the week, day, and even the period). This means I have PLENTY of time to prepare, so when the visitors actually come, I try my best to show off what my students can do.
In today’s lesson, I was excited because it was a lesson that both the kids and I found interesting. With Halloween, there’s just so much you can do to make it interesting. I used kid-friendly, cartoon, flash card monsters to get the kids talking to each other in English. They would say what monster they are for Halloween: I’m a…. vampire, witch, ghost, werewolf, mummy, and yes…even Frankenstein. We used the popular “Trick or Treat” and “Happy Halloween” phrases during a Halloween game that I came up with. The students did another AMAZING job. I was so proud of them. Later that day I had to teach this lesson to another group of second graders and thought, “This is going to be easy, because I’ve already taught it.” But things didn’t quite work out that way.
Class started just fine. We did warm-up song, and I did a demo with volunteer student. Right after the demo, something happened at the back of the class, and one little girl began to cry. If it was just tears, maybe things would have been okay, but it was pretty heavy/loud sobbing. It took a few minutes to get the class back in order. But I did it. Chaos averted…whew! Or so I thought.
I got back to teaching the lesson, and I kid you not, literally 2-3 minutes later, another student started crying. I think she was close friends with the girl who was bawling and it made her cry. It’s really quite touching, but when you’re trying to get the class to pay attention, it’s not the best turn of events. Needless to say it was a real challenge to get the class back, even with all of the techniques and tricks I know. And guess what? It didn’t stop there.
We played a team game a little later in class, and in one team, I guess one of the boys wasn’t moving fast enough so his team was trying to get him to hurry up. I bet you can probably guess what happened. Yep…more tears!
Under my breath I muttered a downtrodden “Oh no…” The homeroom teacher was quick to take care of it, but keep in mind class is only 45 minutes long. Far more often than not, the kids are able to focus quite well, but when it’s raining outside and you have a popcorn tears distraction like the one I had today…it’s hard to compete with. I’m just glad this wasn’t the class that was being observed. Eh, tomorrow’s a new day.
Can’t win ‘em all.
See you tomorrow,
P.S.-For those who want a clearer definition of the term popcorn tears. I like to use the term popcorn for things that happen randomly on multiple occasions. For example, let’s say you’re in a room full of people and some body internally combusts right next to you, and then another person on the far side of the room also blows up, and then maybe somebody in the back row. This would be Popcorn Internal Combustion. Others may include, popcorn laughter, popcorn confusion, popcorn shouting…etc. In class because I had three instances of tears…popcorn tears or popcorn crying.
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