Re: C!LASS ROOM MAYHEM
I've always found that changing the classroom culture is the most important thing you can do - and it takes time. To take a class of non-achievers and turn them into kids who want to and DO succeed is really difficult, but really, really important.
I think that what's been missed so far in this thread is the significance of positive reinforcement. I've been using simple rewards, and "The Mighty Pen" award in my classroom for several years, and the value of giving out a pen, which on the surface is little, has become invaluable to me. Every year I order a batch of pens with "The pen is mightier than the sword" etched on them. And when kids overachieve, I ceremoniously hand one out.
It's best when one of those unruly kids gets himself one of those pens. Firmness is certainly important, but work actively all the time to change the academic culture in that class.
Re: C!LASS ROOM MAYHEM
***Not a teacher***
I was surprised to see that only one person suggested to get the parents involved in their children's behavior. Especially when you sent homework and they didn't do it. I would write letters to the parents alerting them of their child's behavior AND request that they GET INVOLVED and help curb their unruly child's enthusiasm.
Again, I'm not a teacher but, those kids do not "become" little monsters only when they are in the classroom. If they behave that way in the classrom, they usually are like that all the time. I know, cause I was one little monster myself.
I eventually grew up and went and apologized to my teachers and told them they should have been more strict and should've gotten my mom involved.
Managing disciplline in the classroom
I have a particular problem:
Students (8th grade) put a chewing gum on my chair - just for fun, but I wasn't loughing at all. In order to leave the school (fortunately it was the last lesson), I had to stay for a long time in the bathroom trying to clean my pants... There wasn't any reason for doing that; the school year just began (in Costa Rica we start the school year in February) and I didn't give them any grades yet - good or bad.
What should I do? I don't know exactly who did it, so I can't punish just one student. I was thinking on punishing the whole group by giving them double difficult test, compared with other groups... At the beginning of the school year I told them: Lets get along well. For that purpose, a teacher has to give students clear instructions, easy tests and nice exercises. And students have to work in the class and have good discipline. Everybody agreed and we made a "treat". So, now I have a "moral right" to give them a difficult test because they didn't follow the rules. (look: "Establishing consequences" in the article you suggested, by April Sanders).
But then I remembered that once a professional man in discipline problems, who gave us a workshop, told: "We - teachers - shouldn't REACT, we should ACT", means the revenge is a bad method of education...
So: I'm asking, if somebody can give me an advice, what should I do? Of course, I can't pretend nothing happened. I don't want to shout at them, neither make a police research, neither come with long sermon conveying God... I am really not good at these things and hate them... I like my subject, that is the English language, but probably I'm not a very good pedagogue. Although I have already been teaching for 10 years, I feel I'm still a beginner; I started to work as a teacher at an adult age, and probably I am not so fast at getting teaching skills.
Re: Managing disciplline in the classroom
Personally, I'd do nothing.
Originally Posted by lenapolster
You have obviously not reacted so far, otherwise you wouldn't be asking. They haven't repeated the offence, or anything similar.
Someone was testing you with something which they saw to be pretty minor - 12 yr olds are not likely to consider a bit of chewing gum on their clothes to be a major deal - and you didn't react.
Apart from the damaged clothing, you're ahead.
[Note I'm making various assumptions, which might or might not be true.]
Re: C!LASS ROOM MAYHEM
Raymott and Mara, thank you for reply. Iīll be thinking, but if you both tell not to punish the whole group, probably I have to pay attention. Moreover, this class was behaving very well after that incident. Thanks again!
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