Posted by: Magistra | April 6, 2008

Where do they go?

Where do you send students who can’t be in class at that moment? You know, the ones who refuse to stop talking, or won’t put their cell away, or whatever.

We’ve got a detention room on campus, and I’ve certainly used it. But when I tell a student that in order to remain in class x, y, or z needs to stop, I hate hearing, “Just send me to [detention room]. I want to go to [detention room].” There is something wrong if students are asking to be sent out of class.

I’ve got an understanding with some of the teachers around me and sometimes we send students to each other. Other times, I ask the student to step outside and briefly conference with me before coming back. My new focus has been on getting them to identify what the problem is and why, from my perspective, it is a problem. But the reality is these problems arise in my two classes when I am least likely to feel like I have the time to talk to an individual. (I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my two “toughest” classes are my two biggest – 34 students each)

The big picture is to do all those things (greet them at the door, demonstrate consistency, be respectful while being firm, etc.) that help avoid these situations. Big picture, I know I need to keep working on “student engagement” and on continuing to break concepts down into attainable pieces. (I don’t agree with everything Kohn says, but his basic point that curriculum is classroom management makes sense to me.) But right now I want a better small picture.

Two weeks to CST’s…

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