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First week


My name is Autumn and I am a student at Ball State University. I have been in an Indianapolis school for one full week and a couple of days. Before school started all of the BSU students participating in the Urban Semester met for a day of beginning instructions and introductions to classes we would be taking in Indy. We also helped our classroom teachers set up the room, put up bulletin boards, make nametags, and whatever else needed to be done before the students arrived. That whatever else turned out to be a variety of things that most of us never thought had to be done.

The first couple of days went very good. Students were very well behaved and we did not have much mindless talking or other inappropriate behavior. Mrs. C went over some procedures about going to the bathroom and walking in the hallways. Before we went to lunch, we went over a couple rules for the lunchroom and recess. When we discussed the classroom rules, students brainstormed about what good behavior and what bad behavior looked like.

The first full week of school was interesting for me. I was in with students during recess that misbehaved in lunch or during morning work. At least one of the students in the room was crying each day that we were in from recess. I tried to talk to each of them about what they were doing that was inappropriate and ways we could fix the behavior. There was a lot of time that I was not in the room because I was in class for BSU. I feel that this interferes with disciplining in the class because I am not there all the time. The students still take what I say seriously but I still wonder about how they see me as a teacher figure. I am quickly learning what to do with students who are very active during instructional time. We have many students in our class who speak out and move about the classroom as if they were having free time.

I feel that my decision to be a teacher has not been swayed by any of the events that have happened so far. Everything has just confirmed what I know would have to be done as a teacher.


Autumn. You come from a very god school. Last spring, ten of your fellow BSU-ers came to Chicago and scraped and painted a classroom in an inner-city school in Chicago; gave up their break to do so. I am veryimpressed with your school based upon the actions of those BSu kids.
good uck in your new urban adventure.
A couple of thoughts for you.
No child does "mindlesss" chatter. to him or her, the thing he is talking about is meaningfull. It may be at an inappropriate time but it is not mindless. So, punish the child for what he DOES; don't give it a name worse than what it is; labeling children's activities in adult terms sometimes comes off as waytoo harsh and a child thinks he is worse than he is; he will have a harder time getting back on the classroom path.
Children who are punished with too many time outs or so many that they spend lots of time in isolation are not learning anything except thatthey are worthless. Redemption has to always be possible--in your life as well as in their lives. Redemption, the fact that we are going to get better, is what keeps us going. It is called HOPE.
Shorter isolations help. Two minute warnings or bench time are often better than missing the whole lunch period or the whole recess.
Crying needs to be dealt with with HOPE too. My dad was a pediatrician and he told me at the beginning of my teaching career that a alot of kids have ulcers due to the pressures the kids feel at school asnd in their lives as a whole. Teachers must be rays of HOPE not just undue pressure.
Look back at your three paragraphs and look back at the nouns/adjectives/verbs you used. Are they words or concepts of HOPE or of punishment? 11 were negatively tinged; two were positive. Think of creative ways for yourself and your fellow new teachers to build up positive concepts in your children's work and in their days.
Good luck.
Bob keeley
Old guy teacher.

I wish you great success Autumn. Over at The Endless Faculty Meeting I've placed a link to your first post and I'm planning on keeping my readers informed of your progress. You will do well.



I am so happy to see you've been given such a great opportunity such as this! I saw your picture on the BSU website and instantly I smiled! I've known you for most of my life so I am confident you are going to have some amazing impacts on the lives of the students in your classrooms. It is exciting to see a fellow Ireland-er doing such wonderful things! I wish you much power and encouragement!


HI Autumn... I'm 60 years old and have been teaching in a variety of schools, and many subject areas for about 45 years. It was so sweet to read your blogs on getting into the classroom. You know, everything you described happens on and on and over and over. Except for the situations where the students have excellent backgrounds in terms of family support and their own goals and purposes in place. For the last 10 years I've worked with highly motivated students in the middle school range.... Our times are limited... Saturdays and summers and wednesdays.

We read and write and talk and learn test-taking strategies, create essays and poems, charts.

However, our ten year program is ending now. I'm looking for different work... that's how i stumbled across your blog.

I don't know if I have the stamina to return to the types of settings you describe... so more power to you... you are definitely one of the many young teachers who will be there to bring our children along.

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  • Marilyn: HI Autumn... I'm 60 years old and have been teaching read more
  • Amber Gress: Autumn, I am so happy to see you've been given read more
  • Bill Davis: I wish you great success Autumn. Over at The Endless read more
  • Bob Keeley: Autumn. You come from a very god school. Last spring, read more