Writing my way through the school year!

Posts tagged ‘classroom management’

The “Bad Kid” Label Sticks: Let’s Remove It!

bad kid poster

Sometimes, ok many times, she could be loud.
She rolled her eyes and twirled her neck. Often.

Her behavior was everyone else’s fault, never hers.

But as the school year progressed, she changed.
She evolved.
Was she perfect? By, no means.
Did I require perfection from her?

No, why should I?

But I observed waaaaay less yelling, bullying, eye rolling and neck twirling.

Way less.

In my End-of-the-Year card! ūüôā

I never yelled at her.

I ¬†talked to her, not “at” her.

I listened to her.

I would allow her to lead.

Let her use her voice for good.

I resisted the power struggle.

Had to, because sometimes she would take me there.:)

And we grew together throughout the school year.

We grew to understand each other.

She knew I “didn’t play”, but I loved her anyway.

She knew to grab that Ipad, set the timer for 5 minutes, and go to the buddy classroom because¬†I¬†needed a timeout. ūüôā

I learned there was a girl who needed to know she was more than a loud, bullying, eye-rolling, neck twirling child.

We built a relationship.

As the school year ended, I chose her to be the mayor at JA Biztown.

She was amazing!

Everything ran smoothly, she gave her speech to the “citizens.”

I was so proud. What a leader!

But here’s the thing with the “bad” kid.

Some educators don’t want to let go of the label that has followed that student for years.

“I can’t believe out of all the kids in your room, you chose¬†her¬†to be the mayor!”

Really?

I have this pesky habit of believing in the “bad” kid, just as I believe in all my kids.

I believe in giving kids a fresh start, and not believing the hype that follows them.

I believe educators should stop chasing down the previous teachers to get the “scoop” on a child and then continue to treat that child the same way they were the previous year.

Thre’s no magic wand to change a child.

And sometimes, what is tried, fails.

This year, give the “bad” kid a chance¬†to be viewed as good, or at least as worthy as everyone else.

 

“Cheat Sheets” Saving My Voice and My Sanity!

One year I was being observed and the class I had was trying to sign into Schoology, again. I was frustrated because a. I was being observed and b. This was not the first time they had signed into Schoology. And to be honest if I wasn’t being observed, I might not have been quite as frustrated. But that’s another story…

So, during the post observation my administrator suggested that I create “cheat sheets.” I ¬†said, “I keep telling them how to do it, they should get it.” And then, I went home and created the “cheat sheet”, and I have been doing it ever since. READ MORE..

How Can We #Rethink Discipline?

 

On July 22, 2015 educators gathered at the White House to Rethink School Discipline.

“The conference sought to advance the national conversation about reducing the overuse of unnecessary out of school suspensions and expulsions and replacing these practices with positive alternatives that keep students in school and engaged in learning, but also ensure accountability.”

As I participated in the Twitter conversation¬†#rethinkdiscipline, I began to think about ways we could avoid reaching the point where we have to suspend students. Just as we find ways to prevent illness using preventive measures, there are preventive methods we can use to reduce suspensions and expulsions. These methods are not a cure-all, but it can help stem the tide…READ MORE

Saying No:Sometimes It Has to Be Said!

Many Sundays, I go to church and watch some of the little kids in our church behave however they wish. They wander down the aisle, stand on the pew, and the parent says nothing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love little kids in church, sometimes they lead to grown folk in church, which is nice. ¬†However, I think there is a point when the parents should say no, this is not acceptable.READ MORE

photo credit: nathangibbs via photopin cc

Classroom Management Skills to Help You Survive the Year!

 

Is it really that bad? You’re doomed? Don’t panic, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a chance to turn things around. You always have another chance. Some can turn it around during the school year, and some have to wait for a fresh start. Either way, it’s not hopeless.:) ¬†¬†READ MORE

“That Teacher”: A Blessing or a Curse?

In February I read an article by Angela Watson,¬†“Should the Toughest Kids Be Placed With the Best Teacher?”¬†I clicked the box to notify me of follow-up comments because I thought it was such an interesting topic. A lot of discussion ensued, and even now, I still get a comment notification regarding the blog post.READ MORE.

You Catch More Flies with Honey! Lesson ReLearned!

 

It’s funny because I wrote this post in¬†March 2012, and ended the title with the words, “lesson learned”.

I guess I forgot the lesson for a bit. READ MORE…

If You’re Happy and You Know It…! Happy Students = Happy Teachers!

Clap your hands!


About a week ago, I was feeling pretty frustrated with this whole teaching thing. I was worrying whether or not the way I was feeling physically, had to do with the stress of my job.

And then I received an email that put a huge smile on my face. Now, keep in mind, the thing that put a huge smile on my face is not something that everyone would get excited and happy about. Understand too, that I am VERY passionate about edtech!READ MORE

photo credit: katerha via photopin cc

The “Disrespectful Student” Dilemna!

 

 

 

I’m trying.

I am really trying.

I am trying not to let one kid ruin my enjoyment of my class.

I refuse to let this student get on my last nerve to the point where I lose my cool.

But, it is hard.

And everyday, it gets more difficult.READ MORE…

 

 photo credit: Wendy Copley via photopin cc

 

“Humiliation is Not a Classroom Management Technique!”

My youngest son is no angel, not in any way, shape, or form. He had been getting in ¬†“trouble” since preschool. I would go to pick him up and he would wave, and grin, at me from the timeout area. He didn’t know any better, he was just one of those kids that was always up and about. Back then, if you were that kid, you ended up in timeout.

When he was in the second grade, I had a conference with his teacher. She couldn’t wait for me to sit down as she proclaimed, “He needs to be on medication! You need to put him on medication!” (We won’t go into the fact that legally a teacher cannot tell a parent to put their child on medication.) She then proceeded to show me what she did because he could not ” behave.” She took his chair, put it facing the blackboard in the front of the room, and then if that wasn’t enough, she rolled the hanging chart behind him “so he wouldn’t distract the other kids.” I saw red! What a humiliating experience for my child! She seemed quite pleased with herself. Needless to say, I contacted the principal immediately and had my child removed from her class.He was placed in a classroom where the teachers practiced strategies that allowed them to deal with kids like my son.

Last Sunday, I was talking to a parent who has a son in one of the new charter schools in my state. She informed me that her son had to wear the “yellow shirt.” The yellow shirt states, “Do not talk to me, I am in isolation.” My mouth fell open, and I told her, “Get your child out of that school immediately. She responded, “Oh, it’s ok, the shirt is normal.”

Normal? What’s normal about having anyone’s child walk around with a shirt saying “Don’t talk to me”? Using¬†Color coded student ID’s according to your test scores? ¬†Showing the class a student’s work and mocking them ¬†in front of the class? What’s normal about a teacher humiliating a child in the hope that they will behave better? How could this possibly work? ¬†The natural reaction to humiliation is to either shut down, or to become aggressive. The child no longer trusts the teacher and it has created an intolerable situation in the classroom for the student and/or the teacher. It can also lead to bullying. If the teacher is allowed to bully a student, why shouldn’t the other students?

I know they “take us there” sometimes. I was one of those teachers who had to stop using sarcasm as a classroom management technique, especially when I had a difficult group of kids. But now, I always think of how I would feel in that situation. ¬†I think about how my sons would feel. ¬†You know the adage, “Treat others the way you want to be treated!” ¬†Now that’s a good classroom management technique!

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