Monday, September 21, 2009

What a Waste!!!!

First, I would like to thank everyone who has commented on my posts! Your insight is welcomed and I have learned so much from what you all have said to me. I am growing and becoming a better teacher with each passing day and you are helping to make that even more profound……THANKS!!

Well, now for our regularly scheduled program….the realities of teaching!! Okay, so today was a pretty good day, the usual challenging students were still at it, but it was overall a good day. There was, however, something that happened today that made me wonder about its effectiveness. Let me explain. A student from a 4th grade class was misbehaving in his classroom. The class as a whole was out of control because there was a substitute for the day. This student, who I’ll call “Joe”, was totally acting out. Early that morning, my teacher extended an option to the sub that she could send any unruly students to our classroom. Guess who came to our room after lunch….yep, it was Joe! The sub entered our classroom and asked (a.k.a. insisted) that Joe spend some time in our room because he was not behaving. The student came into our room and my CT told him to sit in a chair in the front corner of the class.

The student spent about 20 minutes just looking at the walls and I asked my CT if she wanted me to work with him on his assignments or discuss his behavior and what he could do differently next time. My CT told me no because he needed to sit and think about what he did. She felt that if he sat there long enough doing nothing, he would not act in such a poor manner again because he wouldn’t want to sit and do nothing. Joe ended up spending 1.5 hours sitting, not engaged in any learning, conflict resolution, or behavior modification.

Basically, I think this was a complete waste of time!! All it did was make the student even more upset and his time just sitting around did not do anything to discuss and modify his conduct. Joe was also a cross cat. Student (reason why he left our room after 1.5 hrs) and is probably at an even greater loss by not being in class to learn the material.

I don’t think this situation was handled well at all! Students need to be called out on their behavior, but they also need to talk about the consequences, and what they can do differently the next time. If these types of discussions do not take place, I do not feel like students are held accountable for their behaviors or given tools to improve. I feel like even when a student misbehaves, they still need to be valued. Today, Joe was not treated with respect today. I feel bad for him, but I know if presented with the situation when I am teaching, I will do things differently.


  1. What will you do? I totally agree that because you were there and not otherwise engaged in teaching, it would have been a good opportunity for you today. If you were the teacher and there was no one else in the classroom...what would you do?

  2. It is so interesting that you posed this question to me because my CT and I were talking about the same thing yesterday. It is so easy to maximize your time and do things that are so beneficial for the students when there are two teachers in the room. My CT asked me if I thought about how next year will be for me when I am in my room alone with my students.

    I honestly do not believe that I would have been able to sit and work with the 4th grade "visitor" one on one in the way that would be most effective. Time, more than likely, would not have allowed it. However, thinking ahead, I feel it would be a good idea to have some type of behavior reflection sheet that "visiting" students would work on and discuss with me for a few minutes before they went back to their homeroom. I could have my students work on their assignments, silently read, or something for a few minutes to discuss the "visitors" behavior. I know it would take a lot of pre-planning but I think the extra time is worth it if students are constructively thinking about their behaviors and what they can do differently next time.

  3. I do have a Think Sheet, that I previously used, and am thinking about beginning to use again, but it was difficult for my special ed. students to complete on their own. I will send it to you, soon.

  4. We have a Think Sheet too. Students have to check which rule they have broken, explain their behavior, and then write how they should have handled the situation differently. The Think Sheet then goes home for a parent signature.