Today was one of those days where all of the hardship, frustration, and stress of teaching was really worth it. To be very honest, the past few weeks in my placement have been rather difficult. There is a lot going on in my 4th grade classroom of 18 students. They each have issues, they each have needs, and they each need individual attention.
Without going into too much detail, I'll just say that my mind has changed towards at-risk/high-risk/difficult students. No longer will I think they just "can't" until I've exhausted every effort possible to prove that they can. Today one of our identified special needs students made his AR goals and got to come to the rewards party! Then, one of our ELL students made yet another 100 on an AR test and had was only .6 points away from being at the "reward" level! And THEN, our student who has severe behavior issues was AWESOME ALL DAY LONG! My cooperating teacher, the principal, and counselor worked on a daily "report card" for him and it totally worked. He just needed some extrinsic motivation and an attainable goal and he was good to go!
I have learned so much about behavior management and classroom management this semester and how to help my most difficult students. I am going to take a teacher vow and promise that I will always do my best to be a reinforcement of positivity, not a mouthpiece for negativity. The Bible says "the tongue has the power of life and death" (Proverbs 18:21). This week, I found out just how true that verse really is.