There is a big difference in the number ten, more than I could have imagined.
Having ten more students in a place that feels a tenth the size (of my previous classroom) makes it all the more difficult. Thinking back to Ayers, I agree that a quiet classroom doesn’t equal a learning classroom, but it sure is hard to transition with the level of noise in the classroom at any given time. When you don’t have the physical space to create an environment for learning, you just sort of make-do. The classroom doesn’t even have enough space for students to sit around for a read aloud. There isn’t space to work on projects bigger than a desk. Clutter is an issue. It seems like everything is an issue.
The students are clever, very clever. I’m still trying to learn their names. The students seem to “feed” off the chaos. When it’s time to pick up off the ground, some students just hide under their desks. When it’s time for silent reading, a line forms up to use the restroom. The environment isn’t the best for them, so it’ll take something more. It’ll take engagement to a new level. That seems like the only way. The class is diverse – but using the diversity could be key to engaging the students. No one said this would be easy.