Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Classroom Management

Last year, one of Katherine's first graders, Giami, came in to teach her one Vietnamese word per day. It was nice. She was cute. Giami would teach the word, then leave.

Words like "mother," "father" and "teacher."

This year Katherine has a teaching partner, Ron, who shares her office. Giami still comes in at lunch to teach the one word per day, but Katherine says that as a teacher weighing the heavy load of TWO students, she is beginning to really take things seriously. She has come up with systems - like her tally system: she will say a word like "dog" and they must repeat "dog" correctly ten times before she will pass them on that word.

She has implemented techniques to handle inattention, too. Whenever they get distracted by anything, such as students or phone calls, she uses her Hang Man Strategy: when they misbehave, a limb goes up on their respective nooses (they each have their own).

Lately, she has become quite weary over her teaching load, saying things like, "I'm having a bad day," and "You're not listening," and "I'm gonna quit."

Katherine thinks that this weariness has forced her into using more "Non-Western Teaching Techniques." The other day, after a lunchtime filled with other-student distractions, Ron and Katherine looked up to see the following messages on the board: (the first one says " You are better than Ms. Katherine - just a little bit!)

Mungo, I couldn't help but think of how fast you would have been hung in Mr. Smith's class. That strategy would have saved you from having to do those fake book reports, right?
Seems that Giami, as a seven-year-old teacher with experience, will be able to weigh the pros and cons of positive vs. negative reinforcement a lot sooner than most of us~

1 comment:

Mungod said...

You're right, I would have been hanged quickly... But, I would have retaliated by creating Ken Smith voodoo dolls and hanging them all throughout the classroom.