Well today was crazy. My co-operating teacher was unexpectedly not there. At first I was told that I'd be taking over the class (omg!) but it turns out the class would split into the other two 5th grade classes. Not that my students assimilate into their class or anything, they kind of just sit quietly in the corner/s doing busy work for hours. Most of my day was spent going back and forth to each classroom helping the students with various problems. It was actually pretty tiring, and not quite as useful to my learning as actually teaching a lesson would have been.
The being said, there were times when I was solely in charge of the class. I suppose overall I did alright, but I came to the realization I have very little control over the classroom. One I'm reflecting upon now is a particular student that engages in a lot of back talk. I am now considering in my mind that perhaps I enable this by engaging in the backtalk. That is, she yells "WHAT DID I DO?!" and I argue with her, or something to that effect. Anyways, I'm working on it. I am not going to go back on what I've said about being authoritative over authoritarian, but I suppose I am seeing why many teachers choose the authoritarian approach. It's easier. It's much less time consuming. There's much less thought involved. Where as the former shares mutual respect between the students, the other demands respect from the students. I've been told I have a "laid back" approach. I'm still working on how I want to manage the classroom, but I know I don't want to take the easy route. I aspire to be one of those teachers that wasn't so hard on students. While this is proving to be a challenge, my belief in moving in this direction is affirmed by the large percentage of teachers I see that are indeed overly strict with the students. Still learning.