Caught sitting down!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by westopherj, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. westopherj

    westopherj Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2009

    Hey everyone - I hope everyone is ready for a great break!

    Both of my superintendents stopped by today to say Merry Christmas while my kids were in the middle of a Christmas activity craft activity. The problem? Of course I was sitting down at my desk writing a thank you note with no children near me! I only sit down on very rare occasions, but of course, the one time I do, I get a short visit! Anyone else have this problem?

    Happy Holidays!
     
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  3. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    I sit down rarely, but don't see a problem if I do. If the students are on task and not getting in trouble, then I am doing the right thing.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I wouldn't feel as though as I was doing something wrong if the superintendent came in my classroom while I was sitting down, but I understand your feelings. I trust he is intelligent enough to understand 1) I don't always sit down, for if I did my students wouldn't be so awesome and do such great things, and 2) there are sometimes perfectly legitimate reasons to sit, which I won't even begin to list examples of. Of course there are teachers who sit nearly the entire day and teach from their desk, and I'm not suggesting anyone do that...but a teacher who has proven him or herself otherwise--no biggie being "caught" sitting. :)
     
  5. westopherj

    westopherj Rookie

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    Yeah - thanks for the replies....The only reason that I'm a little nervous about it is that this is my first year.
     
  6. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    It always seems like admin. pops up at the worst times...I think it's Murphy's Law! :lol: I don't think you were doing anything wrong...you're allowed to sit! :p
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Argh! I swear, every time I am sitting, my principal pops in. It has made me so I never sit, ever. If the kids are working, I take whatever I am working on to the front of the room, and pull up a chair!
     
  8. Arbie

    Arbie Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2009

    Here's some advice from a long-time teacher. OUr school wants us to be a "sage on the stage" and to teach on our feet.

    When I taught first grade years ago, our Supt came in while I was sitting on the floor (surrounded by kids) wrapping presents for our aides. As soon as I saw him, I turned that little gift wrapping activity into a math lesson and he never knew the difference.

    I would have risen and greeted the supt and somehow woven the fact that i was getting thank you notes out in a timely fashion into the conversation.

    The older I get, the more that I need a "rest" for my back and feet.

    Enjoy your first year of teaching. It goes by a lot faster than you think !!!
     
  9. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    They should understand that there comes a time THAT you have to sit. I have a desk BUT no adult chair. I stand @ my desk so I MAKE SURE I find time to sit down with the children for Art, Science, or Circle time. I love to sit whenever they invite me to lunch @ Dramatic Play area or @ the library area for reading. I think you are fine. They shouldn't make a fuss abt it.
    Rebel1
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I always position myself in the midst of students when doing 'administrative' tasks.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Off the point...We have a student chair that is maybe 2 inches higher than all the other chairs in the classroom. One of my students has decided that every time I need to sit, she will go across the room, without hesitation, and get my "special" chair. I had to share that.

    I'm with Arbie, I tend to suddenly make a lesson out of stuff and turn on the charm and nobody notices the difference.

    I had a parent who did an all day observation. I had a lesson planned for a read aloud but I suddenly realized this book was too complicated for the lesson I wanted to teach. I just said, it is very close and they seem anxious and ready for their snack. I think it's time to stop. I acted like I was following the student's cue and being really flexible and understanding of their need for break and movement rather than getting flustered over a mistake. Then on the next lesson I just picked right back up.
     
  12. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I have arthritis, and found it very difficult to be standing for as long as I would like to stand. Personally, I would like to be up for most of the time that I'm teaching, but I simply couldn't do it. I ended up purchasing a really nice desk chair, and I had the desks set up in a horseshoe. Suddenly, I would get them started on a math activity, or get them writing, and I could wheel around to each desk to check on them... it was WONDERFUL.
     
  13. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    My principal came in for an unannounced informal observation last year; I was putting grades on the computer. I'd just taught a lesson on writing a summary and all the students were engaged in the activity, I'd taught the lesson well. I kept on putting grades in, he walked around with his palm pilot and never said anything to me. He knows we have to use every minute to the max.
     
  14. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    I am thankful to be at a school where it is perfectly fine to sit when needed. Our principal knows, at a glance, whether we have our class under control and on task. If students are working and I am sitting, they can rest assured that I'm not painting my nails, doing a crossword, or texting in my lap. I am on the clock and I obviously take my job quite seriously as can be noted by my classroom environment. Now, if they walk in and I'm sitting because the children have lassoed me and set me on fire, then, I might expect to be called into the office for a talking to. My point is...if you've done nothing wrong, keep doing what you're doing whether they are in the room or not. You'll have a more relaxed and natural day that way and your teaching will be marvelous! Enjoy. It's a wonderful job we have!
     
  15. MollyT

    MollyT Companion

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    Dec 24, 2009

    I have some great lessons in my class - but it seems that the principal only walks in during transition from one lesson to another. She never sees them actually doing anything - but I'm sure she doesnt think the kids spend all day just walking around the room. ( I hope :eek:hmy:)
     
  16. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Dec 24, 2009

    Forget About It. Your children were actively engaged in a worthwhile activity at the start of the holiday season.As suggested,next time as do any task around of group of children working. In that case if anyone enters you can engage the children around you.
     
  17. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Hey...look at it this way...You had the kids on task and behaving so well, that you had a moment to write a thank you! You were multi tasking!

    Next time, add to it by saying something like "What a great group! They stay focussed on their task while I write notes to parents."
     
  18. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Me too! I have placed an empty student desk in the middle of the bunch for a place for me to set my things and sit if need be. I was one to lose things while teaching that I had just a moment ago! Now I make a point of setting anything on that desk and no where else!
     
  19. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    It does seem they always have perfect timing!

    It reminded me of this place I worked in daycare-I was with 3-year olds and the director literally had a rule that you couldn't sit down. I'd have 4 kids left at the end of the day and really wanted to sit down and play blocks with them, but would be reprimanded if I did. They took a field trip to a swimming pool and drafted me last minute to come chaperone (it was the older kids). Spent the day worrying about, chasing after these rugrats. Came back to the center after about 5 hours and sat down with my water and she literally told me to stand up and start walking around monitoring. Did I mention I hated that job?

    I also don't think you have to apologize for completing a task at your desk. They know who the teachers are who do that occasionally and do that all day!
     
  20. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

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    That would have made for an interesting circle time...the kids on the floor and the teacher towering over them!
    Personally, I think it is stupid to expect any teacher to be on their feet and walking around all day. We are adults and should know how to manage a class no matter what position we are in.
    I don't worry about whether I am sitting or standing. I know what my kids are doing at every minute of the day and if I need to stand up and go get them back on task, referee an argument, etc. then I do. I also never hesitate to sit on the floor with them during centers to play with them. That is one of the best ways for kids to learn appropriate socialization!
     
  21. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    They do seem to have perfect timing. It would bother me a bit, too, even if I were perfectly justified.

    This year is a bit different, so it just doesn't happen. I have a desk, but I never use it. My student helper of the week gets to sit there when the student teacher isn't there. That keeps me out of it.
     
  22. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    The year I was pregnant one of my boys told me I shouldn't be on my feet and went and got my rolling teacher's chair so i could roll from desk to desk as needed. :) His mom had just had a baby.

    Other wise I tend to teach most stuff small group or whole group in circle time. The desks are just for work centers or practice. Thus I sit a good portion of the day.
     
  23. MollyT

    MollyT Companion

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    Dec 25, 2009

    I think rules such as 'no sitting down' make implications about teachers. It implies that:

    a) when sitting, a teacher is not supervising the students and not actually working.
    b) if not told to work, teachers will sit down and do nothing all day

    I find this offends me as a professional. I think that management needs to trust my professionalism to actually do my work.

    Just my two cents worth.
     
  24. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    WELL SAID!!:thumb:
     
  25. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    I don't sit because I teach middle school, so I teach 5 different classes and have no time to sit. But it's just crazy that we can't take a split second out of the day to sit and write something without worrying about what admin will think of us. Teachers at my school are expected to be up and teaching every second of the day. If students are working independently on something, that is considered bad. Students should be moving around, talking to eachother, etc, all period long. Independent practice should be done at home and not at school, so, we shouldn't have any time to write a thank you letter. Thank God I get a prep period in the middle of the day!
     
  26. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    I totally agree!!
     
  27. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    I am wondering how you can tell if a child learned the concept you have taught if they are always moving and working together. There is no way you can conference with each child in one period.
    Don't you need to do mini-lessons to introduce a new concept.
    You must be exhausted by the end of each day.I hope this method really works for each child and teacher in your school and is not an attempt by the administration to look impressive.
     
  28. gottagoodgig

    gottagoodgig Companion

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    I don't sit much either. Generally, teachers at my school don't like being "caught" sitting at their desk by our principal (and certainly not by our supt.). I have a wonderfully supportive principal, but I still feel awkward if I'm sitting. I work at a school with a tech focus, so I feel a bit more comfortable because I'm usually finding a website for my smartboard, etc. I also take administrative things (rarely) to a student table or one of my kidney tables and work there. I also might invite a student or two to sit with me so I can offer some extra help while we both work... And, like others have said, a good administator will remember what it is like to be in the classroom all day, every day, and will understand if you sit for a bit. We are only human, after all.....

    I did work once at a school and we were told it was NEVER appropriate for us to sit at our desks during school hours. Stressful (and lame). I had a small table that could be raised to be quite tall. I would sometimes stand at that table with my laptop or to grade a couple of papers....but never sat. Needless to say, I've moved on to much bigger and better things since that school....
     
  29. magister

    magister Rookie

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    Dec 26, 2009

    No offense, but this is funny. I wouldn't care if the super saw me sitting down. We're far too burdened with being perfect teachers and assume that anything other than standing, observing or walking around is laziness and apathy.

    I also assume there's nowhere written in your teacher's handbook that sitting is forbidden. Give yourself a break. Just act as you always do, and if someone has a problem with you, you'll be the first to know.
     
  30. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    Our previous principal told me in a conference to 'get my butt out of the chair'. Thus said, last year, I lectured at least 3 days out of the week, sometimes 4..using a powerpoint presentation on a smartboard. That is at the front of the room, my desk and chair is in the back-how I was able to be in two places at the same time is beyond me. He hated to see teachers sit, even when students are doing deskwork or tests. Personally, I can get distracted by movement, especially when taking a test. I refuse to move continuously around the room and make my students nervous as if I'm looking over their shoulders. I will get up on occasion and position myself at two different points of the room and watch the students before returning to my desk.

    I don't see a thing wrong to be able to sit when students are doing groupwork or desk work, especially if you can monitor from your desk and walk around every few minutes. I'm not sure why it seems that we must stand on concerte floors for 8 hours a day to ensure our professionalism and ability to teach..:confused:
     
  31. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 26, 2009

    Thank you! I do the exact same for the same reasons. I've had students tell me how much they appreciate it. I am highly capable of monitoring without pacing and hovering.
     

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