I had another of my education classes last night at the community college. Were were talking about classroom management - establishing rules and procedures, discipline, etc. I woke up with this song running through my head from "The Sound of Music."
So let them bring on all their problems
I'll do better than my best
I have confidence they'll put me to the test
But I'll make them see I have confidence in me
Somehow I will impress them
I will be firm but kind
And all those children (Heaven bless them!)
They will look up to me and mind me
- "I Have Confidence" by Rodgers and Hammerstein
My favorite part of the song is near the end, where Julie Andrews (who has been skipping and singing all over town) finally approaches the gates of the huge Von Trapp house and sort of swallows her voice and says "Oh, help!"
I know that's how I'm going to to feel on my first day of teaching. I'm starting to feel a lot more sympathy for that poor little new Kindergarten teacher I observed at the public school this fall who could barely keep her class in order. However, the program I'm going through this summer is excellent. It's a crash course in Teacher 101.
I just picked my books up for the rest of the program, which runs from September through May. I knew it was going to be $353 dollars, so I parked near the bookstore. I didn't want to carry all those heavy books too far. Well, the cheerful assistant went to fetch my books and when she came out she was holding a shrink-wrapped bundle about the size of a shoebox. I know it's been a while since I was in school, but this thing looked like a stationery set and was about as heavy. I feel kind of gypped that I didn't get a free pen with it!
My biggest problem in these classes is that I can't shut up. I am starting to annoy myself and probably everyone else as well. I don't know if it's because I am so personally invested in this lifeline for my survival in the very near future, or because I so rarely get to be in a room without any Thomas trains in it. But I'm having a very hard time stopping myself and if I were teaching me, I'd probably put my name on the board. I was racking my brains for a creative way to help myself overcome this and came up with the idea of a red piece of string tied around each wrist. Okay, I know that sounds really weird, but I need some kind of a visual cue for myself so that when I see my hand going up, I stop. I've already earned my participation grade for the whole course in the first four classes.
It's a side effect of being an extravert. Everything I'm thinking, I just have to share or I feel like I will burst. The good news is, it really helps at parties when silence falls among a group of strangers. I can make conversation about the tablecloth, if needed! I actually had a shy person at a business conference come up to me after a really awkward dinner and say "How did you DO that? I thought I was going to die in there." Bless her. I thought they were going to kill me.