High School Teacher, Milwaukee, WI - July 5, 2016
I would typically arrive to work at 7:45-8:00 am weekdays as the school day started at 8:30. Once a week we would have a brief team meeting for all teachers to discuss current events. I would then venture to my classroom to review any new emails. I would then gather my prepared lessons and go to the computer lab to wait for my students. I would stand outside my door to greet and monitor students as well as my colleagues along the hallway who stood outside their doors. The students would eventually trickle into the classroom some would respond to my morning greetings others would not. Once the tardy bell rings I would close my door and begin instruction. After I previewed the daily lesson I would allow the kids to being their work as I took attendance, then I would walk around the lab and assist my students with whatever program we were working on that day for that particular class. I learned that classroom management benefitted from preparation and organization. If I kept the students at a workable pace and made sure they understood that their work mattered towards both their education and their grade I was able to keep most students motivated and on task. For other students who had trouble focusing on the work I had to have alternative tasks for them so that they didn't distract others. Entering grading assignments into the computer system or running various errands. My day would continue similar to this as I taught different STEM classes 5 times a day. While I had minimal problems and few incidences of fighting throughout the year I was often called upon to help out my other coworkers to help problem solve or stop physical altercations. The main reason for the undisciplined behaviors that most students developed came from a lack of consequences for bad behavior. As a teacher I was responsible for my classroom and I did what I could to maintain order, outside of my classroom I received no respect and was at times wholeheartedly ignored by the majority of the student body because they knew that no one, their parent, a teacher or principal or staff member could do to hold them accountable. This made for the most frustrating part of the job because I would lose a lot of in class instruction dealing with distractions that came from outside of my classroom. The best part of the job for me was when I had those light bulb moments when I was able to teach a kid something new and I knew I had an impact on their lifelong learning.