Today's lessons were really hard, for multiple reasons. It's getting to that part of the year where everything just feels a bit too hard. I'm exhausted, I'm overwhelmed and I'm just trying my hardest to keep up.
Today I planned an action packed lesson, which I honestly thought would end in disaster. My students are wonderful and talented, but they often struggle with group work, and with student driven learning, and this whole lesson revolved around teaching themselves a song and playing together. Last week had been a bit disastrous with quite a bit of misbehaving so I was ready to be a bit more strict this week.
The lesson actually turned out really really well. There was only one class that didn't get through all of the activities (my chattiest class who took a while to get going in the first portion of the lesson) and most classes actually had time to swap parts and learn a whole new line. The kids seemed to enjoy the lesson, and it was great to finally get them playing with different textures and tone colours inside the one lesson, and also to give them some control over their learning. Being a bit strict and then loosening the reigns a little seemed to work and they worked really well together for the most part.
I found at points in the lesson (and in the afternoon choir session) that I was raising my voice often, and even yelling at points, especially when students were being unsafe, inconsiderate or just plain rude. I was getting so frustrated that I didn't know what else to do and my students were suffering the brunt of that and it wasn't fair. I try my best to teach from a trauma informed perspective and yelling isn't a part of that. I know that I sometimes need to be strict with my students, but I just felt awful, so awful that I had to have a little cry before I left. I don't think it was the best way to reprimand and correct my students, and I'm doing my best to reflect, and to reach out to my colleagues for advice.