Spoiler alert: I'm about to totally geek out with teacher-ness right now. I apologize to my non-teacher readers for the copious use of jargon.
I use small dry erase boards in my classroom. They're a fantastic tool for formative assessment, and as I've previously discussed, they are great catharsis for those kids that need a doodling fix. They definitely present a classroom management challenge, one that I was proud of conquering in the States.
Welp, apparently I've lost my mojo since moving to Saudi Arabia.
Ok, I guess I'll give myself a little credit and admit that I didn't properly train my students on my behavior expectations. The boards weren't introduced to my classroom till the middle of my year when the ship had sailed and I didn't want to take the time to introduce some new procedures. I'll do a better job about that next school year, insh'allah.
I used the dry erase boards with my 10th grade class today and it was like I had been transported back to my 6th grade classroom in the States.
Phrases that could have been heard in my high school classroom today AND my middle school classroom in the past:
"[Student], you're going to lose your board privileges if you don't start following directions and use the boards properly."
"[Different Student], please only write on the white part of the board. We're not using the back of the boards today."
"I'm over here, guys." --in response to half the class holding up their dry erase boards backwards.
"I'm not interested in your doodles, I want to see your answers."
"[Student], 'smiley face' isn't an answer."
"Well, [student], at least you're honest." --in response to a board with "I have no idea" written as an answer.
I was very nervous about facing the challenge of teaching high school this year, but if today has taught me anything, it's that high schoolers are just middle schoolers with a height advantage.