I took time to pay extra attention to my struggles that I
experienced this past week in my school.
I organized these struggles below and prioritized them from most
personally scrutinized to least. I found
that I struggled especially with the the first three above the rest on this
Extreme feeling of being
overwhelmed by dozens of “extra needy” children during class activities- I get asked too many questions about the
work, one after another, which is extremely time consuming. I am the only professional in the classroom
for that class and I feel that I don’t have enough time to meet all of their
needs. I need to be “zen-like” to
Covering Classes that I do not know- this has just become a
struggle recently when many many teachers have been out on serious medical
leave for weeks. Usually not enough
substitutes come for the day which causes administration to spring a “coverage”
on the teachers at the very last second.
This causes me to struggle with organization for my classes that
day. I also struggle with dealing with
students from classes I am not familiar with and trying to get them to actually
do work. Again a certain pose of
calmness could benefit me.
Diverse Class loves to argue-
I have one class that has developed into a major problem in the last
couple weeks due to students being transferred in. The students are respectful to me but are
extremely disrespectful to each other.
The class loves to argue with each other and it usually is centered
around different cultures.
Making time for push-in staff-
I am usually so involved with working with my students that I tend to
ignore the push in staff.
Allowing students to go to the bathroom has begun to get tricky
because of all the students who walk the halls and start trouble.
I think that each of my struggles above can create a new pose
for me. I have a certain mentality when
it comes to my classroom. My way of
thinking sometimes gets challenged such as in the struggles listed above. Sometimes I expect things to run smoothly and
have a specific flow to them and when things go different from the plan, the “wobble”
I like to think that I have a calming, problem solving pose that
I present to my class but when problems arise like the ones above, I have to
step out of my comfort zone to deal with something unexpected.
As I sit back
and make inquiries on my wobbles, I realize that reflecting on the unexpected
challenges is something I do all of the time as a professional educator. I just never called it a pose/wobble/flow and
so forth. The insights that I am
discovering from my inquiry have been about mainly focusing on staying in a
calm pose as much as humanly possible.
Everything will work out as long as a teacher can keep the emotion
levels down and stay focused on the problem at hand. Sometimes it may not be humanly possible
while dealing with some the kids in my class, but it has become a main focus to
grow from my wobble. I get an anxious
uncontrollable feeling that starts to creep into my head when things don’t go
the way I planned. The same sensation
many other teachers experience most likely I’m sure. Another insight from my inquiries was the
understanding that everything will be fine in the long run. The wobble feeling will pass and a solution
will present itself if reflection is present.
I am realizing this fact more and more as I experience struggles
throughout my career. When I experience
something that causes a wobble, at the moment, it is not fun, however any
wobble allows for professional growth.
From wobbles throughout my career, I feel that my amount of poses has expanded
countless times. The moments of wobble
allow for reflection which in turn allows me to build from the experience. Simply put, there are some circumstances that
cannot be adequately addressed immediately, but with time, an educator can
learn when these wobble moments occur and how to build from them.
the “flow” when things are going according to schedule or when I successfully
diffuse an unexpected situation wherever that may be. Basically anytime I gain a sense of pride and
accomplishment is the times when I am “feeling the flow”. Granted, this does not happen too often in my
school setting, but when it does, it is so sweet to experience. Sometimes the kids give me such a sense of
pride and happiness which, in turn, tells me that I am doing at least something
right. There are just times where I get
into such a groove that nothing can affect me even when a wobble occurs. When I am in the flow, situations don’t seem
to arise as often. Perhaps the students
pick up on when teachers are in that type of groove.
When I begin to
reflect on my student’s work, a range of emotions set in. Some kids in my class complete perfect
work. Some of my other students
understand the concepts but struggle to complete quality work. Then there are the ones who choose not to do
the work for whatever reason. So it is
tough for me to pinpoint exactly what my classroom’s overall culture is because
of how severely different my students can be. If I could describe my kids into
three categories based off of the pose/wobble/flow concept, I could describe
the students who produce quality work as my students that are in the flow. They have a sense of accomplishment with
their tasks and that rubs off on me. My
average classes can be described as my normal pose. I say this because they know what kind of
mindset I have and what kind of mindset they need to have to be successful in
my class. They put in effort but the
quality of work is just not there yet.
These kids are striving to be better still though. Then you have the wobble. The kids that purposely don’t do the
work. These are the same kids that
create most of the problems in the first place.
One good quality I have as a teacher is understanding who my students
are. After reading the wobble article, I
came to an understanding that without these types of problematic kids giving me
so many crazy circumstances over the years or creating a wobble for me to deal
with, I might not have grown to who I am now as an educator. This was the point in my reflective thought that
I was finally able to understand why the wobble is so important for
The wobble just
like everything else so far in this connected learning can be directly related
to connected learning and equity. The
wobble concept is essentially a way where a teacher can build skills that are
lacking in areas through experience and reflection. This allows educators to develop better
strategies and learn more about their identity in the classroom. When a teacher learns from a wobble, a new
pose can be created which will help student learning in some way. When teachers experience enough wobbles,
teachers can gain a stronger understanding on how their students work. The more understanding a teacher has with how
the students function in school, the more that equity can be achieved. Equity is about proper accessibility and
understanding for ALL students. When a
teacher has a strong understanding of how their students function, the teacher
can use their new found ideas to build interest in the classroom. Teachers must always reflect and build before
forming an idea of how the class will react to different lessons. This happens to all teachers when still
feeling out each class at the beginning of the year. Throughout the school year teachers will
experience wobbles from the class and learn from it. Thus building a stronger idea of what
interest’s students and how to connect all the students in the class to a
certain subject concept.
Here are 2 Wobble Stories for the Website STORRI from real educators that I enjoyed:
This is a great story that helps teachers understand that a specific
message from administration or another teacher does not mean it’s the overall
message for all teachers. Teachers want
to help students in different ways and have different motivation tactics to
help students gain an understanding.
This story shows how students can interpret things differently and
associate a message, good or bad, with all teachers and staff from the
building. The teachers’ wobble is all
about context for message meanings within schools. The way people say things or express something
can send mixed messages to students which can affect other teachers.
Knowing the Why
This story actually from the same author as my first
suggestion is about inquiry.
Administration wants things run a certain way and teachers must go along
with it even if they don’t understand or agree.
The simple question of “why” may seem harmless but could cause problems
if taken the wrong way. The author asked
the question why about curriculum for her poetry class out of pure innocent
curiosity but not everyone you ask that question to will be understanding. This wobble is something I experience as
well. Like the author mentions,
sometimes I want to ask the question why for a better understanding, but it
could be taken a different way. For me
the inquiry remains within for those reasons but it is a wobble nonetheless.