I've mentioned before that one of my teaching goals for this year was to get some new and effective classroom management systems in place. I think my bosses, when they suggested this goal, meant for me to just, like, try a little harder; however, I'm me, so I read four books on classroom management and student engagement, watched a video by a Local Expert, met with said Expert (who happens to be the lower school counselor), arranged for several peer observations, and accepted Expert's invitation to visit my room.
Yesterday was the day he attended my trickiest class.
Except, about half of the class was absent for some reason. There was a Knowledge Bowl meet, one kid had a doctor's appointment, etc. etc.
The class was completely silent, so much that my lesson was sort of... awkward. At one point, I said, "Is this the quietest class we've ever had?" Everyone nodded, relieved that I mentioned it, and one girl pointed at the Usual Suspect who was left in the room and said, "Johnny, why aren't you ACTING OUT?!"
The Expert left after a bit. He whispered to me that he'd come back another time.