Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Classroom Discord

Today, I was in a classroom that was full of discord. (My mom would call it strife.) I am not saying that everyday is like this in the classroom I was in. On the contrary, I am sure it is not. I have experienced it before. It just happens to be that it is very fresh in my mind. I would like to discuss what to do when the classroom gets this way.

Today, I reiterated who each student was responsible for, I talked about how I was responsible to help each student in the class follow directions, and I also talked about how it makes us feel when there is so much discord in the classroom. We discussed that being responsible for yourself will help to make the classroom a place we want to be. During our discussion, they explained what reporting was and when to do it. They also talked about how tattling is inappropriate and what it was. In the past I have also modeled how to tell a classmate something when necessary. I have also talked about how to be a good friend. In a classroom I was in earlier this year the teacher had a fish who the students could talk to and tell or write notes about their concerns about others to. I believe it helped squelch the discord in that classroom.

What are some of the things that you do in your classroom? How do you hold each student responsible for him/herself?


Anonymous said...

A lot of what I do depends on the age group involved and how well I know them. I did most of my subbing at the school I teach at now and I know most of the students at least somewhat. But it's a very different thing when you don't know the students at all.

I guess I'd need a bit more info. It sounds like you handled it well, however. Being clear and open and direct about the situation and addressing it in a straight-forward manner seems like a good plan.

Ms. Mize said...

Thank you for your comment. I guess I am looking for suggestions for building a respfectful community. As well as, helping students understand that often times things are accidents and not done maliciously. I realize this does change with age when children are less eccentric.

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Justine, happy to welcome you to the 31 day better blog challenge. Look forward to hearing how you get on. cheers Sarah

loonyhiker said...

With my high school students, if there is a squabbling problem between students, I make them fill out a form: they state the issue, then they say how they handled it and then they say how they could have handled it differently. This gives them time to calm down and think of it differently. I also make a big deal about how we can't control other people's behavior but we can control our own.

Ms. Mize said...

Oh, I love that idea! I hope you don't mind if I use it.