08 July 2009

Classroom Management.

Obviously I'm not a public school educator, but I enjoyed reading about some of the creative classroom management ideas on Miss Cal.Q.L8's blog. They run the gamut from the "screaming doesn't work" idea (not that almost all of us non-perfect people haven't done it) to the "gallows or guillotine" being the only options for misbehaviour in class mode of thinking. :p

Here's a suggestion from Mister Teacher: Small tickets on a roll. I know I've seen them for sale at OfficeMax and likely you can find them in several other places. "I give them out for good behavior (or lack of bad behavior), and I have a drawing for goofy little prizes each week," he writes. "The pronouncement of, 'I’m looking for someone to earn a blue ticket' can change a disorganized group of misfits into a military-precision line of silence!"

Doggone it, but I probably might use that idea sometime. At present, we have a post-it note with 16 squares drawn for each child (tic-tac-toe style, four up, four across). Every day that the children have done a reasonably good job, they'll each get a star. I hate strict enforcement of behaviour expectations (that's the kind of thing that escalates situations for Elf, and drama isn't my thing), but if things are going badly, I will just say, "That's chance one," and go on. You get three chances. It's only on the fourth that I don't award a star. Even then I might give a "chance" back if I see great behaviour later. I want to motivate the good behaviour, but I also don't want things to get to the point where he says to himself, "Today's shot. Might as well act badly and have fun with this!"

I know my methods sure wouldn't work in a classroom with 26 other students. Sometimes I bend the rules to the point of being ridiculous. It just depends on what I feel each child is capable of *that* day.


I will also occasionally write Elf and Emperor's names down and some made-up word that they need to "earn" three of, such as "snoofleez" or "squampumpts" or "drogglins." After three of the item, they get a sticker to put on their workbooks. Usually we give each child a chance to earn something when things are dragging a little bit. Not that I'll tell them that.

You don't get the "zzuiits" out while things are going *too* well, but you don't want to wait too long for things to go downhill, either. It's more of an art than a science. Really? Each child winds up with about two stickers each day. Sometimes none. Sometimes three. But it isn't a competitive thing. Here's "Elf's turn" to earn a zingswat. Now it's "Emperor's turn" to answer the next question in our book and earn one.

I do know that whole books and blogs on classroom management are out there. I wish every child could learn with some of these teachers who want their children to succeed. They're always looking to improve themselves and investigate new ideas.

Others, well... Let's be honest here. More often than not, when a special-needs kid is getting blogged about... I wouldn't want to read about my child along those lines. I understand that these teachers just feel the need to vent, but my. This one has to be the worst of the lot, but I do wonder how many educators are out there who really feel this way and just don't blog about it.

10 comments:

  1. all I can say is WOW.. to that blog you linked.. what is wrong with people..

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  2. Yeah, I wish there were a way to out people like that. NOT that I would specially like everyone to know my real name and address... but once you know me for a while on the blogs I do share this info freely...

    I think there is a great deal of difference between wanting to be anonymous on a blog so no one steals your infant/ retaliates when you speak about the local school district... or blog anonymously about your problems with diarrhea or some other embarrassing ailment or whatever...

    And crap like this. I wish I knew whether this person were working with anyone with "special needs" anywhere in this world.

    Yeah, it's not a link to read during dinner, is it?

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  3. I like the ticket idea. That's what they use at our school. When the kid has earned 40 tickets, he/she can pick a prize from the treasure chest. One of these days, I'm going to test to see if that will work at home too.

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  4. Are they good prizes at school? Last I remember, it was all Happy Meal toys other people's kids didn't want. But they loved getting those prizes anyway. :]

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  5. We have a roll of tickets but we dont use them anymore. We bought them for something like TV priviledges. LOL

    I know Tinks 3rd grade public school teacher felt just like the teacher here about her. He could barely tolerate her. He made her stay in for recess one time because he said she was a very immature third grader! She was never in trouble for behavior at school. NEVER! And then he goes and doest that along with myriads of other nasty things. I pulled her out! I tremble to think what she would be like now if she was still in the school!

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  6. Teachers like that should find another job in customer service somewhere. At least the adults can "ask for a manager" LOL.

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  7. If we developed lessons that were more interesting to children, that tied into the real world, and that helped them visualize what they needed to remember, we would need fewer behavioral tricks . . .

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  8. %rs. C., it took me a while to find the link to the blog people here were commenting about.....(the link in your last paragraph). I went to that blog and read her first entry, which was about a mother of a child in her class who tried three times unsuccessfully to kill herself.

    Here's the exact link:
    http://www.tard-blog.com/archives/entries/ndpn/1_the_first_entry_the_tards_may_be_fucked_up_but_so_are_their_parents.phtml

    What really struck me about that, if you ask me, this is a REAL example of either GOD or a GUARDIAN ANGEL INTERVENING in the woman's life. Gosh, how many people would park on the train tracks drunk and drugged, only to be knocked off at the last minute by another car? And to have the same thing happen a SECOND time? And to go into the woods trying to get shot by a hunter, and FAIL??? If this is not a message from the other side that there is something in this life the woman is supposed to be doing, I don't know what is.....

    Eileen
    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas
    elementaryteacher.wordpress.com

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  9. Regarding The Glasers' comment that if teachers developed more real world lessons that were interesting, I am sure the whole accountability movement has made that much more difficult. ANY lesson can be made interesting and useful by a good and dedicated teacher. But now with so much material that has to be "covered" for tests and the like, the question becomes do those teachers have TIME to make the lessons interesting and real-world, and often they don't.

    I was able to do that because I was teaching in an American School overseas, where we are not yet into all this constant standardized testing (just normal testing!).

    Eileen
    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas
    elementaryteacher.wordpress.com

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  10. Eileen, given some of the things this woman on the "tard" blog said about her charges, I have to wonder at the veracity of the whole story. But she seems to have a very keen indifference to the human condition. :[

    And, I hear what you are saying on Tammy's comment. It does seem though, that teachers are under pressure to teach only what is in the curriculum, NOT what the student needs to know.

    Which, fine. But when you have a child with autism (as Tammy and I both do), there are other things the school ought to help us do BECAUSE they receive funds to help special needs kids. (It's not because it's a charity; it's because the "system" is supposedly set up that way. Which I would disagree with, but don't see that changing anytime soon...) Testing exemptions can be given to IEP students. :]

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)