1. It is very important for teachers to reflect on their practices and identify ways to improve. Often we think of methodology, but this obviously emphasizes the same need to reflect/improve our relationships with our students.

  2. These are some great questions to ask. As you know I live at the lower end of the age group scale. Questions I tell colleagues to ask: Does the child have unmet needs? Do I have unrealistic expectations? Am I teaching in the ways the child learns best (his individual learning style as well as generally good teaching practices for the age group)? I see how my questions related to yours. Thanks for helping me see things with a different lens.

  3. Sometimes kids have spent years in their "role" as class clown and don't know other ways to get attention. We need to be sure that we create class communities where students can go beyond labels that peers, parents, and teachers have cast on them. Great discussion on our contributions to both the problems and solutions. As Scott mentions, sometimes students have unmet needs. I have had many kids report that they are hungry or just tired. We have to look at the bigger picture for the multitude of possibilities.

  4. This is a great series--thanks for your insights:-)

  5. I had a pithy "Well, you know some students are just shitheads" comment at the ready but I read and reread this and found it pretty valuable. I think that you're missing one thing.

    Students are creatures of habit, and very often those are bad habits. Why are they talking out of turn? Yelling at each other? Harassing each other? Because it's what they've always done to one another. They might not even know why they do things ... it's just that they do them.

    There are students at my school who are regulars in ISS so often I joke that they must be getting a free sub or something with every 10th visit. And some of them are nice enough kids and even pretty smart. However, they have horrible, horrible habits that range from being unable to step inside a classroom before the bell to not being able to walk away from "drama."

    Another thing that would be nice to acknowledge, which you kind of do here is that when it comes to confrontations with students, we deal with different students in different ways. I know what you're talking about is in the vein of an entire class, but I do get annoyed about the general (not you) push for "treating everyone equally" throughout the year.

    I had it out with a parent because they were upset that I didn't go off on a student who was mistreating their child in my class, even though the situation was handled. Why didn't I yell? Well, I knew the offending student and yelling wouldn't have gotten me anywhere. They, however, saw this as my "playing favorites." This, of course, ties into assessing the situation as a teacher.

    STILL ... wow, this was long (I seem to comment on others' blogs more than I write on my own lately) ... I enjoyed this post. Very interesting.

  6. This is an awesome list and very nicely described. I can take a lesson in that alone. The question you mentioned are very valuable indeed. I have always loved student surveys that incorporates student interests as well as addressing learning styles and behaviors and update it every year. What also helps is sending a parent survey too.

    Just having the parent and student surveys and sitting down with a great cup of joe on a Sunday morning and learning about your kids helps a teacher blend his or her style into the new school year.

    So many teachers send the surveys home and never read them when they are returned. What is the point in that? Those surveys carry much needed information for more successful outcomes, and once the students know they have a teacher that is actually taking the time to read this stuff, you will be surprised the effort they put into their work.

    It's those little things.

  7. I have to agree that don't blame the situation or the environment, the students or your lack of sleep. You need to be responsible with your actions.


Please leave a comment. I enjoy the conversation.