Was I too harsh?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Peregrin5, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 25, 2015

    Today was my first day of school.

    My first three periods (my science classes) went very smoothly. My fourth period (my elective) was okay. I only say okay because I had to enact consequences on the first day, which I hate doing, but I could tell it had to be done.

    A kid who I had talked to last year thought this new elective was going to be a breeze and he could do whatever he wanted just because I was pretty easy going when I met him last year on the last day of school. (He just popped by and visited, very few students are around the last day, so we just kind of have fun. I lit his hand on fire (safely).) So he probably thought I would be "cool" and not hold him accountable to the rules the next year when he would have me as a teacher.

    He was rude as I was going over the syllabus by talking to his friends, and giggling, even after being sent to the time-out table, and was blurting out.

    We had a really fun activity during this period where everyone got together and built the tallest towers they could using newspaper. As a result of his behavior, I told him he couldn't participate.

    Poor guy had the most forlorn face nearly the entire period. I was strongly tempted to come over and say "okay, you can participate now, as long as you follow the rules," but I knew that would diminish the lesson I was trying to teach him (that I'm a teacher and not his buddy).

    I feel slightly guilty, it being the very first day of school and all, and I feel like I ruined it for him, but I think it was the right thing to do. Would you guys have done the same, should I have been more lenient because it's the first day?

    On another note, last year in this elective class, I only had like 16 students. This year I have like 37. They're all packed in there, and I'm worried about management of that many students, which is another reason I may have been a little more harsh (to set an example to the rest of the students).
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Aug 25, 2015

    I think you were fine. Don't sweat it.
     
  4. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2015

    I think you did the right thing, especially with such a large class. I bet he won't miss out next time!
     
  5. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Aug 25, 2015

    You did the right thing. Today I locked out 90% of one of my classes because they were late. I made them all sign in as late and told them if it happened two more times it would be a referral (like I went over day 1). I guarantee none of them will be late tomorrow! :)
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 25, 2015

    You weren't harsh at all. Looks like this kid learned to listen to you along with the other 10-20 who paid attention to how you handled it.
    The alternative would have been to be much nicer and possibly dealing with his increasingly annoying behavior for the next weeks / months.
     
  7. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 25, 2015

    Nope, stick to your guns. You did right to nip it in the bud.
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 26, 2015

    You did the right thing. You feel bad for the student, but they did it to themselves.
     
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 26, 2015

    Too harsh would be holding a grudge. Since it is obvious that you have every intention of starting today as if yesterday didn't happen, then your conscience should be totally clear. If that is the worst consequence he ever receives, he should consider himself lucky.
     
  10. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Aug 26, 2015

    I dunno. I guess I am in the minority, but I probably would have walked over while the other kids were working and very sternly let him know that it was my classroom, my rules, and you expect him to follow all including and most importantly respecting the speaker. Then I would have said this is your one get out of jail free card, come join us, but here on out it’s business as usual. But that’s me. :D
     
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2015

    I'm exactly the same way.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 26, 2015

    I could see why you might give them a get out of jail free card on the first day. The main reason I would is to not harm the possibility of building a relationship with the student by setting him against me on the first day. (it would be very hard to break a shell that a student creates by deciding he's going to hate your class from day 1)

    However in this case, I think the student is resilient. I don't think he took it personally, and the rest of my class was on point today, even with 37 of them, and even when yesterday the whole class was a lot more squiggly/squirrely (even if that kid did get in trouble again today for continuing to talk while was talking and blurting--other teachers were telling me the kid is just unbelievably squirrely but he's a good kid -- I would believe it, I don't know how effective "Come to Jesus" talks are with him, but I gave him one yesterday and today).
     
  13. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Aug 26, 2015

    Sometimes you have to make the hard choice.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 26, 2015

    That is the reason they pay us the big bucks, right? :rolleyes:
     
  15. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2015

    I think you did what was needed.
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Aug 29, 2015

    No, you weren't too harsh. You were clear with him when he crossed the line, but he chose to be rude even after being sent to the time out table. I like your decision for him to then miss out on the activity. Very well done IMO.
     

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