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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Feeling in Control

Four days ago I was dreading the thought of going back to work.  I felt over-whelmed and was unhappily anticipating all of the work I had ahead do me.

But for the last three days I have been catching up on my marking and planning, and now I can't wait to go back!  I guess what I was really feeling four days ago was that I had lost control, that I was not on top of the work, and that made me feel as though I just wanted to avoid work at all costs.

I think our students often feel this way.  When I notice task-avoidance behaviors in my students, I try to determine the cause.  It really bothers me when people say that students are "lazy". I think that is very rarely the case. If a student is avoiding work it is usually for a reason, and often they can't articulate that reason.  If I think it is because the student is feeling over-whelmed, as I often am, I help them break the task up into smaller parts so that they can feel as though they can handle the tasks one step at a time and be in control.

Another thing that helps is giving the students new and exciting tools to make the work more fun.  I know this works for me.

Three years ago, I had an FM System in the classroom. It was wonderful!  While it was a necessary accommodation for one of my students, it was a very helpful accommodation for all of my students, and it saved my voice.  I loved being the loudest sound in the room when I spoke.  It was so much easier to maintain the students' attention.  But its real power was discovered when I handed the microphone over to my students.  Suddenly they all had something important to say!

I was bemoaning my lack of an FM System to my husband a while back.  Although I had asked my principal for one, there just weren't enough funds, (mind you our ELKP classes have them!).  So for Christmas my husband bought me an iRig Mic that I can connect to my iPad.  After downloading the free VocalLive app, all I need to do is connect to a set of speakers and once again I will be wired for sound!

Now I can't wait to get back to school!  I can't wait to hand back the feedback I have for my students on their work- many of them really excelled, so wonderful to see! And I can't wait to demonstrate our new technology.  I love my job!

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