So I created individual communities in my class. I know it’s wrong and I didn’t mean to do so, but I got really frustrated. I went on a field trip with half of my students one day. The other half remained at school with a substitute. Upon my return, i found the my students had went ballistic. My room was a mess, markers and other EQUIPMENT were missing. I was at a lost for words. I had never heard of my students acting out so terribly. I instantly wrote a letter to the class (which I still believe was a great choice. I explained my disappointment in those who were still at the school, and how I could no longer trust them. Soon thereafter, the room became divided. Those who were not present at the school made it really clear that they were on my good side and those students who were left with the substitute began to backlash.
At first I was to upset to see the situation developing in front of me. I wanted to stand my ground and let my students know that this was unacceptable. But i began to realize that the created a division would be wrong. I tell my students I didn’t want anyone to talk about the situation any longer. I also told them that even if they went on the trip, if they began to tease other students, my trust in them would come to question as well, because they should have better character than that. Needless to say I know have a class that is on one accord again….well at least back to what is was before our terrible substitute day.
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a Teach For America teacher’s blog