Reflection over my first-year teaching is what allows me to step back and look at what has and hasn’t been working. There have been days when I remember that quote by Albert Einstein: The definition of insanity is repeating the same behaviors and expecting a different outcome. I’m especially reminded of it when I reflect over my rookie use of classroom management skills and discipline strategies.
When I stepped back and realized how many of my students were having problems with each other, I incorporated a unit on bullying. It took me a while to see that my class with the most behavior problems would benefit from having all materials ready on their desks—despite having seen and helped teachers, I worked with in the past, use this strategy. It took me a while to realize that my second class of the day, which unlike most of my classes has about 20 students, needed a seating chart. It took me a while to understand that I was becoming unhappy because I took grading home with me, so I figured out ways to grade during school hours.