This is my lesson for the day....patience. I think this is an all around thing. Not just in the classroom....but even on the volleyball court too. Teaching middle school has taught me a lot about the art of patience - even if you give the directions, oh let's say 4 times, you'll still have to repeat them and maybe even have the kids repeat them and then, someone will still ask.
I once saw a magnet in a store that said, "some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints". That's how it feels some days. Right now I have a practicum teacher...she's doing 30 hours and has never worked with middle school kids. There are days that she looks and me and just rolls her eyes. It's funny, because if I hadn't seen it fourteen different ways, I might be doing that too. However, now I just have laugh and shrug it off.
Sarcasm is my greatest tool. I always make sure the kids know how sarcastic I can be and then make sure I use it only with those that will laugh with us. Middle school kids can appreciate a good dose of sarcasm...they know what it looks like and use it a lot as well.
Today patience came in the form of an activity. I was having them create graphic novels in small groups. I wanted them to come up with characters, setting, plot and conflict. They know all of these terms. I'm pretty proud of them. I gave the directions, said it could be whatever they wanted to create. They could do this individually if they wanted. Then I asked if anyone had any questions. SILENCE. I told them they could get started. Five minutes later...."Ms. D. - I don't get this...." Stopped class to reteach and give the directions again...asked for questions. SILENCE. This went on at least one more time. The practicum teacher was nearly pulling out her hair. I just over to the group that was having issues, I sat down. I began to ask them to tell me a story....from there, it was like the clouds opened up, birds sang and a rainbow appeared. I love when that light goes on.
So, the moral to the story....don't give up. I think that all of us has some form of attention deficit some time.