I wrote this to John and the few others who might be experiencing May stress:
John I have found solace these last pew weeks in Star of the Week. No planning. I don’t even sit a kid in a chair. I just give the class a sheet with every kid’s name on it with a bunch of little boxes next to their names and they feed facts into the boxes as the conversation unfolds.
I have a super star writing quizzes with questions like “Emma is afraid of ______”. The kids have to fill in the blank. (Emma is afraid of high school.)
This is ultra simple. With lower level classes they just give one word. They can tell me in English. I write the French on the board and they dutifully write it in the blank. We just collect information.
If they get shitty (May is the worst) I say “Stop!” in English. Kind of obvious and we have all these clever ass ways of controlling them when the fact is that if they get rowdy and I say in a LOUD authoritarian voice the simple word Stop!”, I know it sounds too simple, but they stop. Odd how that works.
When you say it loud and strong with no anger don’t listen to the voice inside your head that wants them to like you. If you haven’t done that by now, it’s a little late.
I just go through class without even thinking really. And I strenuously avoid English side tracks because, again now in May, they build steam fast!
Then if I want to “tag” them with a little wake up call I just ask my quiz writer how many questions are ready and give a quiz if I have ten. It wakes them up.
It’s all about balance and control at this time of year. It’s about knowing I literally don’t have to think. It’s about power and I am the one with it. No little snot is going to rain on my (second) retirement parade in these next few weeks.