When you talk to most seasoned teachers, many of them will tell you that classroom management is one of the toughest problems they face. Either the kids talk too much or they don’t follow instructions or one kid becomes the center of attention. If you fail in valuing the importance of classroom management, you will lose the battle pretty fast. Since i have been in Spain, I have found that it is easier to manage classes as a young person since it was not that long ago that I was in their place, as a complacent ninth grader. In high school, you care about a few things: the biggest thing is being cool. If you create a culture in your classroom that being a good student is cool, then you have won half the battle. If that fails, sometimes you have to use alternative measures. Classroom management has provided me with a curious discussion in my brain that never stops. How can you be a more effective teacher? How do you balance being a friend and being a teacher? It’s a hard balance to strike and one that is consistently evolving. My students are generally pretty friendly to me, especially the bad ones. Enrique and Victorino asked me the other day to join their MindCraft tournament. Gracian pressured me unsuccessfully to buy raffle tickets for his sports team.
All in December in Spain has been pretty relaxed. It has seemed like it just started but its already the middle of the month. This is the weekend of Christmas dinners. I had one last night with some cool Spaniards that went to a camp in Maine with a friend of mine from the program. Tonight, I go to the Club de Campo, a prestigious golf course in Madrid for a very posh dinner with Fulbrighters and ex-Fulbrighters. They only serve wine from 2001. Not much else to report. Until next time.