Monday, September 27, 2010

The Learning Curve

It takes a while for many students to get into the 'swing of things' at the beginning of the school year. Because my students are also transitioning into a new school (middle!), there are that many more adjustments to make. Gone are the days of recess, homeroom teachers, and walking in lines down to lunch, gym, etc. Throw in the fact that students have multiple teachers and classes a day, and it's easy to see why so many of my sixth graders struggle to used to life in middle school.

That said, it can be frustrating to wait for everybody to deal with their own unique learning curve - some students seem to have it down by day 2; others are still struggling here at the beginning of week 4 - while also accomplishing everything I'd like to accomplish in the classroom. While seemingly benign things like bringing the wrong notebook, forgetting a textbook, or leaving an assignment at home may not seem like much, the time students spend going back to their lockers can add up quickly, taking away from the learning that should go on in class. Because of this, I usually reach a "no mas" point after the first 3-4 weeks of school; students slowly get weaned off of going back to their lockers, and start to quickly learn the importance of using their assignment planner and keeping their materials organized.

Although I consider myself very understanding of and accommodating to every student's unique learning curve, 'tough-love' has to set in, for the good of the class and my own sanity.

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