I have decided to make blogging part of my professional growth plan this year. It is actually reflection, disguised as blogging. I feel an important way to as an educator is to take a look at what worked, what didn’t and maybe what I would try to do differently the next time. As we all know the life of a teacher is incredibly hectic and I do not have time built into my day to pause for reflection. So today is the first attempt at looking back in order to make great strides going forward.
Discipline, comes from the word disciple which means “to teach.” I spent a lot of time disciplining this week. There was a kicking-in-the-knee-before-school incident, we had a pushing-out-of-water-line incident, and the Applesauce Incident of 2015, will go down in infamy, of that I am certain. These little incidents (or not so little if you happened to be the innocent soul who had an applesauce cup land on your head) actually take up a lot of my time.
It takes a lot of time to round up the parties involved. All parties must be heard, a consensus must be arrived at, a judgement passed and a logical consequence to be carried out by the offending party. I once overheard a very experienced and well respected educator discipline a pair of students. What I heard this man say was that it doesn’t matter what was said, what matters is what was heard. I was struck by how profoundly simple and accurate this statement is. I heard that over ten years ago and I still refer to it on a daily basis.
I felt that I dealt with my students firmly but fairly. The offending students in the Applesauce Incident of 2015 were required to wipe down the tables in the lunchroom.
One strategy that I need to work on is the “or else” statement. I have a student that shuts down when he is forced to work. If he feels the work is too hard or if he just plain doesn’t want to work he doesn’t. He also invented the phrase “passive aggressive.” This week when he choose to shut down I told him (after all but standing on my head to get him to start work) that he was to begin work in 30 seconds or he would work in the hall. I then walked away...thinking what the hell am I going to do if he refuses to leave the classroom when I ask him? Luckily he started working within seconds. I like that he choose to work on his own, but I have to research what the appropriate “then what” consequences should be.
That is my view from the 86th pew. Michelle