I've been teaching Math for two weeks in an elementary school. It was very fulfilling. I find when I supply teach I have more time to reflect than I did as a regular teacher. I enjoy the natural reflecting that occurs in my mind. I feel better about myself if I follow through in that reflection.
I always seem to have issues with getting students to refocus after down time. I'm always saying 'GRADE 4!! SETTLE DOWN!", in my big teacher voice, from the front if the room. It takes them at least 30seconds to respond. I have found that if I just start walking around the room, telling the little groupings it's time to move on, they respond immediately. I like the instant reaction and I like that I am saving my voice!
When i call from the front, they aren't ignoring me or being disrespectful. Students just don't hear us when we call to the big group. They are busy with each other and they are in the middle of conversations. I know when I'm in a big group i do the same thing. It's actually annoying to have the person at the front interrupting my conversation!!
That's led me to another thought- if I'm going to interrupt the little groups, I should have something important and useful to say that will add to the work being done.