Classroom Rules

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Irissa, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Jun 17, 2005

    What are your rules in your classroom? I found some I really liked off a website. They are very generic but we talk about what each word means and what types of actions are covered under them. The kids make pictures and write about it and we post those near the rules.

    Be Prompt.
    Be Prepared.
    Be Productive.
    Be Polite.
    Be Patient.
    Be Positive.

    Ris
     
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  3. MJH

    MJH Companion

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    Jun 17, 2005

    Rules

    I keep my rules down to three.

    1. Use Good Manners
    2. Think
    3. Be A Good Friend

    I brainstorm a list with my studnets at the beginning of each year and with some coaching and help we tend to get down to these three. Some years the kids will want to change Think to Always Walk. But these tend to work for me. The best time to begin the brainstorming is after you read Clifford's Good Manners, the kids remember the story so they list most of what Clifford did in the book. We always talk about our rules on a daily basis for the first six weeks of school and we take time to practice, model and role play them.
     
  4. Margo

    Margo Devotee

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    Jun 17, 2005

    I also have three:

    We use walking feet.
    We use gentle touches.
    We use listening ears.

    But I am thinking of also adding in: We always try our best. Because I don't have anything to cover independent work time.
     
  5. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Jun 17, 2005

    My number one rule is BE RESPECTFUL
    This encompasses so much. We are respectful to the other classes when we are quiet in the halls. We are respectful to the teacher when we listen and work quietly. We are respectful to our classmates when we are kind and don't hit, kick, bite etc. We respect ourselves when we try our hardest.

    This one rule works great. My class is PreK through First, and they can all understand it.
     
  6. Michelleh

    Michelleh Guest

    Jun 18, 2005

    rules

    We have a set of school wide rules. ;)

    1. Listen and follow all directions the first time given.
    2. Be on time and ready to learn.
    3. Have respect for myself and everyone at (school's name).
    4. Walk in a single file line quietly.
     
  7. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    Jun 18, 2005

    My favorite is Do what you know is right.
     
  8. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jun 18, 2005

    My rules:
    Respect everyone.
    Keep hands and feet to yourself.
    Do your best.

    Number one covers a huge spectrum of things and we talk about that all year. Everything else becomes a procedure in the room (raising hands, etc) which they do all the time.
     
  9. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jun 18, 2005

    We've had this same thread before, so here is what I said then.

    ======

    I posted my classroom rules outside the door, on all four walls, and gave each student his/her own copy to be signed by both the student and the parent. A student was not eligible for ANY privileges until the signed copy of the classroom rules was given to me. (I copied them and gave the students the original.) The rules were kept in the student's 3-ring binder. I also gave the principal and the secretary a copy of my rules. Since they had to be signed by the parent as well as the student, there were no excuses. None. Zip. Zero. I knew that they knew. THEY knew I knew they knew. Tee hee. I'm so mean.

    Here they are:

    Language Arts 6, 7, and 8

    1. Bring all your materials every day. No sharing.
    2. Keep your hands to yourself. Don't touch anything unless it belongs to you. There are many things on the walls and on the shelves. None of them belong to you. Hands off, unless you have direct permission.
    3. Stay in your assigned seat unless you have permission to move.
    4. Raise your hand before you speak.
    5. Only one door in this room may be used by the students. Read the signs.
    6. Your 3-ring binder is important. You'll find out why. Bring it EVERY DAY.
    7. Don't bring candy, gum, toys, etc, into this classroom. You will lose them forever.
    8. Pay attention. It's polite. I pay attention to you, you pay attention to me.
    9. Nothing to write with? Nothing to put in the gradebook. Zero.
    10. Sit still. Be quiet and respectful. Or leave, and go to the office.
    11. You may leave this classroom early with a pass. "No pass, no leave." Save your passes for emergencies.
    12. Tardy? You'll get a demerit, unless you have a pass from a teacher.
    13. All handbook rules apply in every classroom.
    14. Learn something in here every day.
    15. Life is full of choices. Choose wisely. There wil be consequences. Many of them are good. Some of them are not. It's entirely up to you. You're not a child any more.
    ***If you feel that you are going to throw up, RUN. There is a large wastebasket by each door, if you don't think you can make it.
    __________________
     
  10. kinder4me

    kinder4me Comrade

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    Jun 18, 2005

    Margo -
    I will begin teaching Kindergarten in August and I just wanted to let you know I like the way you state the class rules. I like that you start each rule with "we".
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2005


    That is SO much better then throwing up on the table, carpet or in your hands!!
     
  12. Anne Marie

    Anne Marie Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2005

    Thank you ladies for sharing your list of rules! I am currently looking for a job for next year. I am certified K-6, so I am just waiting for the jobs to come open. I will be posting more when and if I get a job (closer to school time) for tips and suggestions! This will be my first year of teaching and I am nervous and excited all in one! I posted in the other forum "New Teachers," but do any of you have any tips or suggestions. If I do get hired just days before school start (and there is no time to send out letters to parents and students) what do you recommend? Any tips at all for new teachers?!
     
  13. dee

    dee Companion

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    Jun 19, 2005

    Anee Marie,

    I would suggest that you begin working on a letter now. Make the letter a general one that can be altered for the grade level you are teaching. In my district, letters are sent home w/students on the first day of school. I think it is worst if a letter is not sent home at hall. As a parent, I would have little confidence in a teacher who does not send home a letter at all.
     
  14. Anne Marie

    Anne Marie Rookie

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    Jun 20, 2005

    Anything I should be sure and NOT leave out? Thank you!



     
  15. 3rdgrdteach

    3rdgrdteach Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2005

    Three Rules

    Our school has one motto (main rule) and three guidelines (sub-rules). They are:

    Motto: I am responsible for my actions
    Guidelines:
    1. I will come to school prepared and ready to learn.
    2. I will follow my classroom teachers direction the first time they are given
    in a positive manner.
    3. I will follow the directions of all staff members the first time they are
    given in a positive manner.

    It's amazing how many other facets of postive behavior can fall into these there categories. Respect, responsibility...
     
  16. divey

    divey Companion

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    Jun 23, 2005

    I've taught for 12 years and have found these 4 rules to fit every behavior concern that arises:

    1) Follow directions the first time
    2) Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself
    3) Make good choices (covers a lot of bases!!!)
    4) Treat others the way that YOU want to be treated (can't go wrong
    with the Golden Rule!!) :D
     
  17. Anne Marie

    Anne Marie Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2005

    Every one of those rules I enforced when I filled in a maternity leave this past spring....except for the make good choices, and that is a good one. When you are going through that rule you can throw in a short lesson about "consequences." Thank you so much!! :) I am looking for a job right now; certified in K-6, but could all of these rules be used for those grades?
     
  18. miss"d"

    miss"d" New Member

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    I am teaching the third grade in the fall in Charlotte, NC. 3rdgrdteach got any advice?? I have received good advice from past teachers, so I will take all I can get! :) There are a lot of behavior problems at this particular school, any ideas? Also, any websites pertaining to the 3rd grade that you like, please send them my way. Thanks!
     
  19. Anne Marie

    Anne Marie Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2005

    Hey! Nice to meet you! I did a maternity leave for about five months right after graduating (I finished in the middle of the year), and am currently looking for a job myself. Congratulations on your new job! I am sure you are so excited! I had some 3rd graders during my maternity leave ( it was library) and I had 3rd for seven weeks during my student teaching. I enjoyed it, and they are at the age where they WANT to learn. At least that was my observation. They always seemed to be excited about learning new things. I wish you much luck!!
     
  20. ~Darlene~

    ~Darlene~ Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2005

    I work on rules with my class at the beginning of each school year. I try to limit it to 5. Two rules that are alwats included are to be respectful of one another and to keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
     
  21. 3rdgrdteach

    3rdgrdteach Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2005

    Miss "d"- I teach 3rd grade in Charlotte too!

    Hi! I have taught 3rd grade for three years in Charlotte. Have you taught before or are you just new to 3rd grade? Here is my e-mail address: isenbergbeth@yahoo.com. If you want to know specific things about third grade in CMS just let me know! Beth
     
  22. miss"d"

    miss"d" New Member

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    Excellent!

    Thank you so much for the reply! I will be emailing you soon. Anything I can know about 3rd grade in CMS would be great. It is so nice to have someone on here that knows about that district. Okay, email in a few. Thanks again! :angel:
     
  23. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 24, 2005

    TxSandMom, my middle school math classes have been the worst about having supplies ready. Because they are getting used to switching classes, being away from lockers several periods a day, and some of them just using their unpreparedness (is that a word?) as a way of socializing, it is sometimes a problem. Since I have small classes, though, I usually just keep a pencil jar and let them borrow. It isn't worth wasting class time on it. However, for chronically unprepared students, I would send a note home. When I run out of pencils in the room, I just say, "Sorry, you'll have to borrow from someone," and go on with the lesson. I just don't want to give them much attention for this.

    Another teacher I know gives out math bucks and then the kids can use them to 'buy' pencils when they forget theirs. Also, in the beginning of the year, I have each student donate one or two boxes to the classroom. It is included on their supplies list which they get in the summer.
     
  24. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 25, 2005

    I've heard of that one - pretty smart. However, in south Florida there are lots of little sweaty feet!!
     
  25. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jun 26, 2005

    TXSandmom,

    If a student did not bring his/her books, etc, they were not able to participate. Also, I am just mean enough (ask anybody) to give an open book pop quiz with bonus points if I see several kids without books. They and their parents had signed off on the classroom rules, so there were no excuses accepted and no pleas heard. Yes, I'm mean. But you know what, most kids either forgot once and NEVER AGAIN, or saw another kid reap the consequences of his own INaction and work extra hard to remember. In middle school, I expected my students to bring their supplies to class every time. I can't even think of any kind of viable excuse not to bring book, pencil, and paper to any class.

    I also SOLD pencils.

    In my naive youth I used to keep a supply of pencils, a pile of paper, and a few extra textbooks in my room, but I learned quickly that those disappeared the first period of the day.

    There just isn't any good reason NOT to bring supplies to class. Nope, not one good reason.

    I am a firm believer in natural consequences.
     
  26. Sunnyday

    Sunnyday New Member

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    Jun 26, 2005

    Hhheeellppp!!!

    I have just started teaching K- 6 on a casual basis (Sub) and cannot keep the children quiet. We get all the work done but they are chatting and I have to raise my voice constantly to get them to lower theirs... Please help me with some hints on how to get them to stay quiet.... I am starting to wonder if I have what it takes for this work. I know I can explain things really well but I am not sure about the class management side. :eek:
     
  27. miss"d"

    miss"d" New Member

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    Sunnyday, I would love for chatty kids to be the least of my teaching woes. I just finished subbing 40 students in 2nd grade for maternity leave. Thankfully I had a teacher in there with me, but she was the one they listened to, not me. So, when she was out sick, I basically had them by myself. Talk about a loud group! ;) Basically, I did a lot of things (seeing as how I was unaware of all of the procedures for the class). I clapped and they repeated what I did. You could sing a song that they could repeat. Sometimes I just stand there and wait on them. Whatever time they take of mine, I take of their special time (like recess, special area, etc.). REWARD those that are being quiet! That is always my pet peave is that the ones who are doing what they are supposed to be doing never get praised b/c we are always focusing on those that are misbeahaving. Those that are misbehaving see the good ones getting rewarded (granted they don't always care) and usually calm down b/c they want a surprise. If you search on google.com, askjeeves.com, etc., they will have some good advice on classroom management also. Hope this little tips help. Don't give up on teaching. If we gave up just b/c kids were talkative, there would not be that many teachers out there. ;) Good luck!!!
     
  28. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Jun 26, 2005

    after several years I have finally learned NOT to raise my voice. I clap, they copy it, and then I tell everyone to look at my nose. They think that's funny, and they all know that I won't continue until I have everyone's attention. most of them want to get their work done, so they make sure that their friends obey. Also, anyone who doesn't get any warnings will get prizes on random days- not every day, but fairly regularly. Just little things from Oriental traders or stickers
     
  29. kym0523

    kym0523 New Member

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    My classroom rules are:
    1. Respect your teachers, your classroom and others
    2. Follow directions
    3. Work quietly and don't disturb others while they are working
    4. Listen carefully
    5. Do your best in everything

    These rules work well for my first grade classroom. I can always refer back to them when needed. Not only should I be able to refer to them but so should my students. The first month or two is constantly getting set in a routine and learning the rules of the classroom. As the year goes by the flow of the class gets better and better because they understand what I expect of them. The only thing I made a mistake doing during my first year of teaching is saying that I was going to do something and I never did . Now I know that along with rules are consquences that must be stuck to, whether postive or negative.
     
  30. kym0523

    kym0523 New Member

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    My classroom rules are:
    1. Respect your teachers, your classroom and others
    2. Follow directions
    3. Work quietly and don't disturb others while they are working
    4. Listen carefully
    5. Do your best in everything

    These rules work well for my first grade classroom. I can always refer back to them when needed. Not only should I be able to refer to them but so should my students. The first month or two is constantly getting set in a routine and learning the rules of the classroom. As the year goes by the flow of the class gets better and better because they understand what I expect of them. The only thing I made a mistake doing during my first year of teaching is saying that I was going to do something and I never did . Now I know that along with rules are consquences that must be stuck to, whether positive or negative.
     
  31. lowrie

    lowrie Companion

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    Jane, you are EXACTLY the kind of teacher I love my sons to have :) (the kind I want to be too!
     
  32. Yabasic

    Yabasic Rookie

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    My top three rules are:-

    1. Show respect to one another.
    2. Do your best in class.
    3. Participate as much as possible.
     
  33. divey

    divey Companion

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    Jun 29, 2005

    I just added "make good choices" within the last couple of years, and it is probably the most used rule reminder of them all (with following directions the first time becing a close second :D) I taught Kindergarten for 9 years and used these same rules..successfully. They're simple enough (and general enough) that they can be applied to any age child however the need arises! Good luck!
     
  34. pamms

    pamms Comrade

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jane
    "There just isn't any good reason NOT to bring supplies to class. Nope, not one good reason.

    I am a firm believer in natural consequences. "

    "Jane, you are EXACTLY the kind of teacher I love my sons to have (the kind I want to be too!"

    I just had to post...tried to resist but came back to it...I had the exact opposite reaction when I read this post. I immediately thought I'd hate to be in her class! It always concerns me when teachers make blanket statements that announce their inflexibility and lack of empathy...all in the name of a structured environment. I truly believe you can have structure without being rigid. I can think of many reasons (not excuses) that a student may not have what they need in class on a given day. I feel that gleefully punishing them by giving a pop quiz creates a punishment that doesn't quite fit the crime. The student's overall grade may suffer when what was really being graded was a behavior, not academics.
    I also believe in natural consequences, but I also believe that kids are humans and make mistakes and that some things are sometimes simply out of their control.
    Just my thoughts.
     
  35. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Lowrie, thank you.

    Pamms, I am so NOT structured. Older kids don't need the rigidity I've seen in many elementary classrooms.

    I would suffocate and die in a structured environment. So do many of our kids.

    My students' lockers were right outside my classroom. They were all GIVEN their materials and told to keep them locked up. I don't think it's rigidity and blanket-statement-hardline to expect those materials to be brought twenty feet into the classroom.

    All humans make mistakes. And if consequences are withheld, they often make the SAME mistakes over and over.

    I am a teacher. My job is to teach PEOPLE. I firmly believe that good teachers mix academics and social behavior together, and that one influences the other, and each other.

    Society already has too many people who are unable or unwilling to hold up their end of the deal. If they learn early on that unwillingness to do what is expected and right is easily forgiven and not really necessary to "succeed" (and I use that term loosely in such a context), then why bother trying? It's easier to just beg or borrow materials from another student or a teacher who doesn't put much emphasis on personal and individual responsibility.

    I'm sorry, I'm not backing down. Secondary students are old enough to take responsibilty for their actions, or inactions.

    Surprisingly, it was seldom that there was ever a repeat performance by any one student. Or maybe it isn't so surprising. . . . .
     
  36. lowrie

    lowrie Companion

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    Jun 29, 2005


    I have to add my support to this point of view. I talk all the time to my sons about personal responsibility. If you do your best at whatever you attempt and you come prepared to do your best, you've succeeded. If you take your lumps, take responsibility for your successes and failures then you are a successful person.

    To give an example not from the classroom, but from the diamond ;)

    My middle son plays baseball in the spring. He's turning 12 this year. For the last three years he's had the same 2 coaches - 2 neighbourhood dads for whom winning is more important than anything. over those three years, these coaches have shortened the bench, kept kids seated and let others play full games all in the interest of winning. This is "club ball" ie: everyone pays the same, no one has tried out for the team, you sign up you get to play.

    My son's attitude about sports is, thankfully, the one that we have raised him with. Winning means trying your best, doing the best job you can do, supporting your team. Winning has little to do with the numbers on the scoreboard at the end of the game, but how you behave and treat teammates, opponents, coaches and officials.

    The reality is that these children are playing for the love of sport, not because they are being paid to play. I can confidently say that not one of them will be a professional ball player in the future. My kids play sports not for a future contract but to develop them into well rounded people who have a lot of interests. The same reason they read voraciously and take music lessons.

    This year, we had so many kids for baseball at the 12 and 13 year old age (Pee Wee) that we had two teams. My son was not with the coaches he's had for the past three years, but with a coach who actually taught them the fundamentals of the game (go figure) and taught my son who has never been "allowed" to set foot in the infield how to play second base. He made an awesome catch on a pop fly the other day that won us a game. His confidence in his ability has soared and he LOVES playing. (okay this is getting long winded but you need the history to make my point).

    Last night we had to play the other team from our neighbourhood with the former "all about winning" coaches for second place and a spot in the city finals. We beat them 19-12 on Saturday morning, but ended the playoffs tied with them (3 wins 2 losses each) and thus the need for this game.

    Between innings, no matter what happened on the field, our coaches said to the kids (loudly) "What are we doing?" and the kids said "Playing baseball!" and then "What are we here to do?" and the kids said "Have fun!" and then they'd take the field. When our kids made a good play, the coaches and parents on our team applauded. When our kids made an error that gave the other team an advantage the coaches and parents on our team said "Good try guys, don't worry about it." and other encouraging words.

    Conversely, if our team made a good play that tagged out a runner from their team or whatever, their coaches stormed over to the ump, questioning his call, yelling etc.

    The bottom line is, while our kids were learning that sometimes you make a mistake, but it's not the end of the world, get up and dust yourself off and try again, THEIR team learned that if we do something right, we're good athletes, but if the other team scores a run, it was a bad call.

    No personal responsibility whatsoever.

    This is translating for a lot of kids into everything. Home, school, the ball field, the hockey rink, the playground. "It's not my fault." is becoming the mantra of children and adults everywhere

    So, I have to agree with Jane. It is not too much to expect a student to show up to class with paper and pencil and book prepared to learn. What would happen in the work world if you showed up to your job without the tools to do it? Would you be loaned the appropriate tools by your boss? Maybe once. MAYBE. What if you continually showed up to work without the tools to do the job?


    My apologies for my long winded reply. I just have VERY strong feelings about personal responsibility.
     
  37. pamms

    pamms Comrade

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    "My students' lockers were right outside my classroom. They were all GIVEN their materials and told to keep them locked up. I don't think it's rigidity and blanket-statement-hardline to expect those materials to be brought twenty feet into the classroom.

    All humans make mistakes. And if consequences are withheld, they often make the SAME mistakes over and over.

    I am a teacher. My job is to teach PEOPLE. I firmly believe that good teachers mix academics and social behavior together, and that one influences the other, and each other. "


    I agree with you, in theory, but still feel that there needs to be allowance for some circumstances that may be out of a student's control. It may never happen in the particular instance that you describe, with the lockers right outside the door, etc, but ...what if??? What if they just can't get the locker combo to work? what if a bully grabs their stuff from them? what if...?
    OOOOOr, what if the environment is so strict about that particular thing that a student chooses to skip the class rather than face being in trouble? I do think students need to be responsible for themselves and I do think it is a good to require them to be. I still think that we just have to be open to the 'what ifs' so that students are not afraid to make an honest mistake. I don't know, or even really think your classroom is like that, but it was reading your statement that you could not think of ANY ("not one") good reason for not bringing materials that concerned me. If you come across as approachable to a student who might have a problem with materials or with another rule that you generally consider to be a 'no excuses' rule then that satifies my concern.
     
  38. hojalata

    hojalata Comrade

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    Jun 29, 2005

    My Rules (Love and Logic)
    1. You are free to do anything you want as long as it doesn't cause a problem for you or anyone else on the planet.
    2. If you do cause a problem, I will ask you to fix it.
    3. If you can't (or won't) fix the problem, I will do something.
    4. What I do depends on the unique student and the unique situation.

    Thanks :)
    Heather
    www.loveandlogicforum.com
     
  39. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jun 29, 2005

    Two other teachers and I were always standing right there with the students at their lockers. Kids had no trouble approaching me; in fact, I was voted "most understanding" teacher for fifteen years in a row, by the students.

    Occasionally, materials were left at home. It usually happened only once for any students.

    And just as often, consequences are GOOD things.

    Honestly, to describe my methods or classroom as 'structured' is almost laughable. I thrive in seeming chaos. Quiet creeps me out.

    The first two weeks of the school year were quite lenient as I taught and encouraged my students to be personally organized. It's essential to be personally organized, because the world at large certainly isn't. Even so small a thing as knowing exactly where to put your hands on a pencil at any given time, is a comfort in an uncomfortable world.

    Yes, combination locks can jam. When that happened, one of the three teachers out there helped.

    Forgetfulness is a childhood given. Secondary students, on the other hand, are moving out of childhood, and must be taught responsibility. And as I mentioned before, most students only 'forgot' once.

    The parents knew about the rules and signed off on them. So did each student. It's not like it came out of the clear blue sky.

    No, I'm not inflexible about important things, creative things, artistic things, essential life-skill things, but to deserve to fully experience those things, a person should be equipped with the skills to appreciate and utilize those things, and organization is one of those skills.

    Do you want a forgetful dentist? An absent-minded obstetrician? A cook who can't remember to wash his hands? An insurance adjuster who must constantly borrow your pen? A surgeon with a solid C minus average? I certainly don't. When should the organizational training begin? Hopefully, down in the lower grades, but it never seems to be done there so we did it in the middle school. Most of the kids caught right on. Those who did not, will, we hope, NOT be removing your child's appendix at any future time.

    "The dog ate my homework" was never a funny joke. And it definitely should not work in real life.
     
  40. pamms

    pamms Comrade

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    Jun 29, 2005

    Jane,
    I'm so glad you took the time to clarify your position. It sounds like we are more alike than different. Every so often I will overhear other teachers talk as if they are taking a 'hard-line' on a subject that just seems to me to have so many variables that to make the statements that they make concerns me. Just like in those moments, when I overhear just a part of what someone says, or when I read a post like your original..I realize I don't know the background, the circumstances or what other thoughts surround it. Those comments then concern me and I wonder if the teacher has taken all of those things into account. You obviously have! I have always rooted for the underdog and would get upset, even when I was a student, if teachers did something that I thought MIGHT POSSIBLY be unfair to anyone! That concern stays with me today and I appreciate the opportunity to have dialogues about maintaining discipline and requiring student responsibility while at the same time staying approachable and 'understanding'. It can be a tough balance sometimes.
    This past year my daughter (in 2nd grade) ended up getting 'in trouble' a couple times for things that seemed to me to be beyond her control and though it only happened a couple times, it set the tone for her in that class and she was never very happy in there. Perhaps that has hightened my sensitivity a 'bit'? :)
     
  41. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jun 29, 2005

    Thank you, Pamms. I think most of us have far more in common than we might at first think.
     

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