The class got used to the expectations and procedures but that motivation and excitement in class was missing. The same fun lesson I taught in other classes would drag on in this one. After a particularly bad day on Tuesday, I decided it was time to pause and reestablish the culture. Yesterday i expressed my honest feelings with the class. That the tone and mood in the class was not excited. I asked them independently to think about what works for them in the class, what I can help them with, and if the class goal was important to them. We had a really honest conversation after. The students felt the changes to and they wanted a more motivated class. Hearing that from each other and having the chance to reflect on it, students were able to take some responsibility and commit to working harder and build a positive tone. In addition I was able to hear what is working for them and what is not so I can also make changes. Will I see an amazing class everyday until June, no. Every class, even our favorites, have off days once and a while. I can say the tone was different yesterday. Students participated, they asked question, they where more engaged.
Sometime we need a reset button in our classrooms, but that is not really possible until the next year. What we have to right now is figure out the next best step to build what is missing in our class. If problems in the classroom are ignored they grow bigger and bigger each week until they become to large to manage. You want your classroom to be a place you want to be. Students want this too. What I noticed yesterday was that the students were happier in class after we had the discussion. They want a class that is positive, works hard, and that they can learn in.